Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Coffee Police

"Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him ..." Luke 24:31 (NKJV)

They looked at me like I was from the Moon. Have you ever tried to communicate something to a child or a student, or even an adult, and you get that blank look? The expression, which said, what language are you speaking? God's truths are not always meant to be understood the moment they are spoken.

I was a public school teacher. I had a third-period study hall where I would brew a cup of coffee to enjoy while the students studied. The students would often comment on how they loved the aroma of the brewing coffee. One day, we got a memorandum from the school Principal. The memo stated that individual coffeemakers were no longer permitted in the classroom due to safety and cost issues. I, maybe a little grudgingly, complied with the request. Shortly afterward, a student came into the room and commented, “Mr. Barnes, why did you stop making coffee?”

My reply was, “The coffee police got me.” I went on to explain the memo from our Principal.

The student quickly responded, “That’s OK Mr. Barnes, we won’t tell."

I knew I had a teachable moment. I waited until the rest of the class arrived and then initiated a discussion about the absent coffeemaker. I told students that it was not about getting caught; it was about doing the right thing. Yes, our Principal would probably never come to my classroom to check for contraband, but I would know that I had done the wrong thing. The students looked at me like I was from the backside of the Moon. The expressions on their faces spoke volumes. "If you don’t get caught what is the difference?"

I then asked them a question that furthered puzzled them. I said, "If I am not willing to follow the rules our Principal gives me, why should you be expected to adhere to my classroom guidelines?"

At this point, I got that blank stare that communicated, "What is he trying to say?"

I knew I was not getting any further with these students at this time and date.

One day in the future, I believe some of these students will find themselves in a situation that involves submission and authority and doing the right thing. God will upload this incident from study hall out of their spiritual memory band. A light will come on in their minds, and they will say, “That is what old Mr. Barnes meant that day.”

Information does not change us, but revelation does. God waits for his teachable moment when our hearts are ready, and the Holy Spirit quickens the information we already have. It opens our spiritual eyes to comprehend revealed truth.

Many of the things the Lord told his disciples before his death, were only made known to them in their fullness after his resurrection. A case in point — our scriptural reference, revealed to them on the road to Emmaus. In Luke 24:32 the disciples said,

“Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” (NLT)

The Word of God always accomplishes its purpose (Isaiah 55:11), head knowledge becoming heart revelation. Be encouraged dear parents, teachers, or just concerned friends, in due season you will see the fruit of your efforts. One day, the students in my story may realize what F.B. Meyer once said is true, “Do right because it is right to do right.”

Copyright © 2017 Ken Barnes. Used by permission.

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