God is consistently presenting learning moments for us. These moments are like experiencing a living parables right in the context of our lives. Mostly we march right past these billboards without reading or even noticing them. But they’re there nevertheless. God patiently prepares these teachable moments for us to learn—or rather, become—one more little concept of the way the world He designed and created works.
My teachable moment this morning came as I reflected on a seemingly insignificant event as we visit our son and his family in Colorado. As I came downstairs, my granddaughter Ofelia was arranging these gummy stickers shaped like fruit all over the glass of their back door. Mostly they were one piece stickers, but the carrot presented a more advanced challenge. Not only was it tiny, but it consisted of an orange carrot, and a separate green leafy part. So I set about showing her how she could put the two together, specifically placing the straight edges together. Amazingly, she got the idea immediately, practicing with the two parts in her hands just right. But, when it came to placing them on the glass the same way, controlling her tiny fingers proved too much for her first attempt. Further attempts to work on this problem were just beyond her patience level.
What I observed, is that for her, being teachable is normal. For me, not so much. It actually didn’t dawn on me that there was a teachable moment also for me until a while later. When Jesus said that only those that are as children will enter the Kingdom of God, we tend to think of the innocence and perhaps humility of children. But I think He also meant the teach-ability of children. After all, Jesus had disciples, not students. Disciples follow, submit, and learn from their master in all ways, wanting finally to become like their master. Students only learn from their teachers intellectually and it is confined to a specific subject.
I think that when God communicates, He’s communicating on all wavelengths, media, subjects, and sectors of our lives. He’s constantly preparing learning, growing situations for us which we either miss altogether, or if we catch them, we’re just not able to master in one sitting. Kind of a multi-dimensional Mr. Miyage, wax-on-wax-off, on steroids. Graham Cook says that in every situation we’re to ask ourselves, what new aspect of the Kingdom (God’s designer-world around us) is God trying to impart to us. Or, in any circumstance, in what way is God trying to make us just a bit more like His Son Jesus.
Life is like walking through Times Square, with a myriad billboards and electronic signs shouting messages with eternal and temporal messages with the potential for transforming us. Just knowing that they’re there is a good start.