On Sunday, Chet made reference to a spiritual training ground he called the “Jesus Christ University,” or “JCU.” When David set out to face Goliath, he needed to rely on his prior training. He had already encountered lions and bears. He knew what a life and death struggle looked like.
He had some experiences with confrontations. He had already taken some spiritual development courses and learned some life lessons in his own “Jesus Christ University.”
I think there is an example in 1 Samuel 17 for all of us to learn from.
Many of us believe that college/university work is a valuable experience. Nationwide, about 70% of eligible High School graduates enroll in higher learning. But did you know that less than 40% of them actually graduate. And of those who earn their degree, about 13% of them face unemployment.
So why do so many head off to college? Well, they are expecting some benefits like the opportunity to make a better living, enjoy more job security, experience stronger networking, and lots of personal development. And generally, most graduates do enjoy those benefits.
But, back to David’s pattern. If he was successful in his defeat of Goliath, what will it take for us to do likewise? Well first, we too need to enroll in “JCU.” We need to “fill out the paperwork” and “register.” We need a personal commitment to grow, learn and develop in our walk with Christ. We need to get ready for the adventure!
And then we need to survey all the classes offered. There are the general education courses that everyone needs to take like Humility 101, Servanthood 101, 201, Giving 101, 201, 301 and Perseverance 401.
And then we get to focus on our “major.” There are specific classes in the realm of our spiritual gifts. For some, Leadership classes will abound. For others, they will focus on courses on Teaching or Hospitality. Fieldwork will be required. There are reflective “papers” to write and presentations to make in small groups.
Eventually we will all be given the opportunity to engage in spiritual learning centers. We will be strengthened by our discouragements and disappointments. Hopefully we will grow from our defeats and learn from our stumbling.
But it strikes me that it all must be intentional. We need to “register,” “go to class,” do the work, and sit through the evaluations. Then, and only then, do we get to “move on” and enjoy those benefits like better living, security, meaningful networking and powerful personal development.
Guess it’s time for all of us to go back to school! Let’s sign up for “JCU!”