Words of Worth

“But Dad…”

September 5, 2014

but godToday marks the end of week one of “Back 2 School”  Facebook posts of the first day of school photos-including teacher selfies on the first day-have now morphed into comments about long homework assignments and all that students have learned already this week.  Hopefully, students everywhere are learning their lessons well and avoiding a major hindrance to learning-an unteachable spirit!

One of the many indications that we are unteachable is an argumentative or defensive nature. How we receive correction and instruction reveals how teachable we are. I can remember being very argumentative and defensive when my Dad, one the most influential teachers in my life, tried to teach me how to ride a two wheeler, throw a softball, prepare for my first job, drive a stick shift, and more recently, play golf. I was thinking about those dad-given golf lessons the other day while I watched Phil Mickelson on TV play in a tournament.

My golf lessons were at times painful for both my dad and for me. He couldn’t imagine I was having fun in my ignorant state of how to swing the club; I couldn’t imagine that the game was only fun if I played correctly. In the beginning lessons, my dad would correct every aspect of my swing and I would argue, “But Dad, I’m having fun!” He would say, “It can’t be fun if you’re not doing it right!” To further defend my defensiveness, I’d say, “But Dad, if I did it perfectly, I’d be on the professional circuit!”

In retrospect, those lessons were priceless gems and I was foolish to think I knew better than someone wiser and more competent who loved me and only wanted the best for me.

My argumentativeness and defensiveness revealed I lacked a teachable spirit and reminded me of Proverbs 9:8-9:

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.…

Thinking back to the day I watched Phil Mickelson, I noticed that his teacher was on the sidelines. And then I noticed that about one pro golfer after another. They traveled with their teacher.  And that made me wonder how often I say, “But God….” when my heavenly Father, who is always with me and always loves me, is trying to teach me something and says to me, “Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach… (Proverbs 22:17).

%d bloggers like this: