I finally found my sewing machine out of pyramids of boxes and set it up. I got it out amidst the boxes because birthdays and Christmas were looming and one teenage son in particular wanted me to make some bow-ties for him (a Dr. Who fan, and who doesn’t love bow-ties??).
Immediately every child wanted to use the sewing machine, which brought a flood of memories back – how many hours had I sat with one child or another on my lap showing them how to make something three-dimensional out of flat fabric with this wonderful monster? “Teach me to use the sewing machine, mommy,” was a refrain that was oft repeated down the years, always while I was actually trying to make something.
“Teach me to write,” “teach me to play the guitar,” “teach me to cook” – I’ve heard these things many times from my children and others. Perhaps it has happened, but I really can’t recall a time when someone asked that other than while I was in the middle of actually doing the thing that they wanted me to teach them.
Being around someone who can do something that we can’t do – but that we want to do – begs the request, doesn’t it?
We’re in Luke 11 at church and the first verse forces me to ask the question, “Am I the kind of example that begs people to ask me to teach them the most important things?” The disciples knew that Jesus was a pray-er. He had been praying in their midst all along, and now they wanted to learn to pray the way he did, “Lord, teach us to pray,” they asked.
Do those around me ask me to teach them to pray? Do they ask me to teach them to study the word? Do they ask me to teach them how to love God and others?
I’ve shown these things to people – done them in front of others to be sure – but does my life display such a commitment to them that others want to know God the way I know God? It is easy to think, “well, everyone has the Bible – anyone can see Jesus’ example and that’s better than anything I can offer anyway.” But is that as it should be? Hebrews 13:7 says this: Remember those who led you, those who spoke to you the Word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
It’s never too late to imitate Christ. It’s never a losing prospect to ask the Giver of all good gifts that our lives will so radiate His glory that others will be utterly drawn to it. It’s never too late to live in such a way that someone, somewhere comes to you and says, “Teach me.”