When I was a college student, I had two amazing jobs. One was serving as the front desk clerk at the dorm I lived at all four years, and the other was as a note taker for the Department of Student Services. Hmmm, perhaps "Amazing" isn't the word you would use to describe these jobs of mine. I get it. Neither was glamorous and neither paid particularly well. The jobs were (and still are) amazing to me because of what they allowed me to do. Working at the front desk enabled me to get paid while I did my homework and socialized with the other girls in my dorm, and it didn't require me getting dressed up or spending any money on gas to get there! As a note taker, I would go to the Student Services Department at the beginning of every semester and show them my class schedule. They would then let me know which classes I was already taking that they could use my services in. You see, there were other students attending my school who dealt with learning disabilities, and one way that the University made sure these classmates had equal opportunity to learn and achieve was to pay students with good note taking skills to share their notes from each lecture. It was a major win-win scenario. 1. I got paid to take notes in classes that I already needed to go to and take notes for. 2. I took better notes than I normally would because I knew that someone else was relying on me to communicate clearly. 3. A fellow student got the extra help they needed to succeed. Maybe now you'll agree, those were pretty amazing jobs!
As I was reading the book, "Radical - Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream" by David Platt, I read this profound section which made me think back to my days as a note taker:
"Imagine being in the Sudan. You walk into a thatched hut with a small group of Sudanese church leaders, and you sit down to teach them God's Word. As soon as you start, you lose eye contact with all of them. No one is looking at you, and you hardly see their eyes the rest of the time. The reason is because they're writing down every word you say. They come up to you afterward and say, 'Teacher, we are going to take everything we have learned from God's Word, translate it into our languages, and teach it in our tribes.' They were not listening to receive but to reproduce. Now journey to a contemporary worship service in the United States. Some people have their Bibles open, while others don't have a Bible with them. A few people are taking notes, but for the most part they are passively sitting in the audience. While some are probably disengaged, others are intently focused on what the preacher is saying, listening to God's Word to hear how it applies to their lives. But the reality is, few are listening to reproduce."
God's Word is not meant to stop with us, it is meant to flow through us. I am challenged by reading Platt's book and by remembering my college note-taking job to remember that everything I receive can be used to bless others, teach others, encourage others, remind others, and point others to the glory of God - and that doing so should be a very natural thing, a real win-win scenario.
"All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB
Carla Ritz. Proof positive that God uses cracked pots!