Avoiding Ignorance Where it Matters


Yesterday I wrote following some contemplative moments in a third grade class.  Today I write following a day subbing in a High School math class, and I feel really ignorant.  It’s ironic that the majority of times I fill-in for High School or Middle School classes it tends to be in the Math or Science departments because that has always been my weakest subject pairing.  Today I got to “teach” in the pre-calculus and Geometry classes. 

It was my responsibility to administer a worksheet simplifying expressions in one class and an end of unit exam in another class.  As I handed out the papers to the students I had a nervous stomach fearing that inevitable moment when a hand would go up and one of these scholars would have a question about their work.  I cannot express how relieved I was when another adult entered the room who knew math.  She was able to answer the questions and help the students as they needed her to.  The very apparent truth is that I am ignorant about the things they were working on.  Not that I hadn’t done them, I had, but it had been years…many years, and those memories are archived away in some recess in the back of my mind


Most of the students had little or no trouble doing what was expected.  They are using this stuff everyday while they are in school.  The formulas, operations, and all came naturally and quickly to them.  As I took a copy of the test and tried my best to work out some of the problems personally (and in secret so I wouldn’t embarrass myself) I only succeeded in further confirming that I had no idea what I was doing.  I couldn’t even make a close guess on some of the multiple choice answers because none of them were what I had come up with.

confused guy

It strikes me that this is why it is so critical for us—followers of Jesus Christ—to make it a daily habit of reading and studying our Bibles and regularly praying and communicating with our Heavenly Father.  I am actually ok with being a little ignorant when it comes to understanding Pre-Calculus and Geometry—that isn’t really limiting me very much.  But, I don’t want to be ignorant about the God Things in my life, that would have very significant negative impacts on me.

The AWANA verse comes to mind—glad I’m not ignorant there. 

2 Timothy 2:15
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.

If I were pitted against these students in a Math challenge I would be slaughtered.  They have been studying this and working it almost daily for this past school year.  I would not be able to be “approved” in this area and I would most assuredly be “ashamed” of my grade.  This class of high school students have—for the most part:

    • Studied Diligently
    • Advanced and been approved by their instructor
    • Have no fear of being shamed by my performance over theirs
    • They know how to handle the knowledge they’ve acquired


Likewise, therefore, when it comes to the Spiritual things, we have to be careful to make a daily practice of them.   While we are here this is our homework and classwork.  We read and study the Bible to learn, know, and follow the will of God in our lives.  We spend time in prayer and communion with God to discover more about Him and about ourselves.  We practice what we find to become more and more proficient at it.  Like the formulas and equations these kids have mastered we memorize Scriptures so that we can recall them when we need them.

In the end, this is the area I most desire to be approved and not ashamed in.


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