LIVING AS APPRENTICES
I now have a personal banker! Given my life-long meager income and my husband’s illness, I would never have thought of needing a “banker.” But in the last several months Josh made suggestions that I would never have thought of and brought a financial ray of hope into our lives.
Because I was quite sheepish about my lack of financial expertise, Josh and I spoke at length about generational differences regarding money. My mother was a great money manager, but she never taught me about saving for retirement (she had a pension) nor would she have agreed with the two steps I just took. And my parents’ firm belief in privacy would have kept them from talking to an “outsider” about their financial planning. As Josh (who is my sons’ age) and I talked, he said, “Your mother taught you what she knew. Your sons benefited from your understanding of the need to plan for their college expenses. Now you have the opportunity to tell them what you are learning now.”
My time with Josh touched on two truths that are also foundational to spiritual growth. The first is that apprentices of Jesus are called to share what we have learned from and about God with others. That, after all, is the truth of a wise old definition of Christian: a Christian is “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” There is no room for private faith in Christianity. We have a story to tell about the hope we have within us and we are called to tell it.
The second truth is that you can’t help someone move farther than you have gone yourself. This truth can also expressed as: “You cannot heal what you don’t acknowledge” (Richard Rohr in Breathing Under Water, page 39). Age and experience are not an excuse to stop searching within for the truths we have hidden from even ourselves. (This process is labeled a “searching and fearless moral inventory” by Twelve Step Programs). And then when the situation is right, we are to share what we have learned with others.
In addition, we all need to be life long learners about our beliefs and our spiritual journey. This week, members of a class I am teaching struggled, each in his or her own way, to come to grips with a new understanding of prayer. It was a great mental and spiritual “yoga” class – we all stretched about as far as we could. I was so thrilled that they all were willing to venture so far out of their comfort zones to toss around a new thought. We don’t have to agree with every new hypothesis that comes along, but, I believe, we do need to be open to listening without judgment as we decide what to do with new information We all need open minds and fresh thoughts every day in order to keep growing.
Josh made me a new disciple of a way to financial security and was thrilled to do so. Jesus told us to “make disciples” as we walk through life. Sharing what we are learning about the with-God life with another believer or seeker and introducing them to the kingdom of God can be our pleasure as well as our commitment.