Being ladders and not snakes…
Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43 (NRSVA)
24 He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27 And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” 28 He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” 29 But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’
36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.’ 37 He answered, ‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!
I have got 3 sons. They are all adults now (I was very young when we had them... just look at my picture…) I’m proud of them all. There is no manual for parenting, I kinda did what my dad did and doubtless what his dad had done for him which is to say I did my best. They seemed to have worked out alright to be fair. You see, there is no manual for parenting and there’s also no manual worth a hoot for mentoring either. You can tell people a million times there’s a “right” way to do things but ultimately all you are really telling them is that it’s “your” way of doing things, your knowledge and your experience, which are, of course, yours. Your experience, thoughts, feelings, brought to bear on something you are trying to pass on.
Sometimes that can be stifling, we can try very hard to make other people in our image – particularly in the workspace but in our personal lives as well. Are we helping them to grow though?
Sometimes we need to look at ourselves as we really are and realise that its often what we don’t “teach”, it’s our attitudes and behaviours that our students (or kids, or whatever’s) “learn” from us.
To me, that’s the journey, that’s the challenge. To try and be the best me that God made and allow people to grow in themselves; to try on the bit of me that fits and disregard the bits that don’t.
I think that’s what God expects of us all, wherever we sit in leadership, in seniorship in age, in any situation really. We are always teaching. We should never stop learning. We should never stop others from learning. As they learn they will grow… and that’s the kinda thing I’m pretty sure that Jesus would want us to do.
Lord remind me I’m always teaching so please, let it be a good lesson
Lord let those around me grow and let me nourish them with knowledge, a helping hand or healing words
Lord, remind me my way is not the only way and that your way trumps it all