I sat across from her as she shared about her coursework for the fall. Excitement flashed in her eyes as we talked syllabi, homework, assignments, and credits. This dear friend, old enough to be my mother, is entering her second year of graduate studies, and her enthusiasm is palpable.
But as I walked the aisles of superstores, taking in the back-to-school displays rife with markers, wide-lined notebooks, binders, and backpacks, I couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic. I wish I were going back to school. I was somewhat of a bookworm growing up, and I’d always carefully stack my supplies on the side of my desk the night before school started, eyeing the fresh notebooks just waiting for furious scribblings in the middle of a class lecture.
My whole life my identity was wrapped up in being a student, and now that I’m no longer enrolled in school, I find that I miss that rush of exhilaration, potential, and excitement that each new school year brings.
But as I sit across from my friend and drink in her excitement, my heart settles on this simple truth: I can still be a student if I want to be.
And the Spirit longs to be my teacher.
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. […] As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
1 John 2:20, 27
What a privilege to be taught by God Himself!
Of course we can learn much from one another, but how often I discredit the professorship of the Holy One living inside me! He longs to instruct and guide me, to teach me the way to go, to give me the words to speak, and to mold and shape me into the image of Jesus.
The Lord, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
Those words are just as true for us today as they were for the Israelites thousands of years ago. Even more so, if you consider that we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us and they didn’t.
I don’t have to strap on a backpack or log into a classroom to return to school this fall.
I just need to direct my thoughts to Him first thing in the morning and ask Him to guide my steps, to teach me His Truth, to instruct me in His ways.
And when I enter my secret closet of prayer, there the Spirit gives me feedback on how I did. Where did I make mistakes? What should I do differently? How have I experienced His presence in my daily life?
Because unlike a K-12 program where standards always shift or a post-grad class where the professor is out to get you, this school isn’t about performing–it’s about becoming. Becoming more like Jesus Christ, our Teacher.
So, what do you say? This invitation is open to you too, you know. The curriculum is practical and the syllabus is personal. You need only to say each day, “Lord, here I am. What would you teach me today?”