On Tutors and Teachers

So there I sat, reading a book on how to read, assigned by my fourth-grade teacher. When the
author advised, “When reading, rest your eyes; look out the window,” I rested my eyes, I
looked out the window. “Daydreaming again?” she asked. I stayed after school cleaning
chalkboard erasers.
Each of my grade school teachers left their imprint, including her. I’m quite sure I was teacher’s
pet for a few, the incorrigible one for others, and just a space-taker-upper for the rest.
My parents, teachers, and coaches tutored me. Their curriculum included reading and writing,
manners and etiquette, winning and losing, leading and following, such things as necessary to
produce a decent, mature citizen. As such, I never required a guardian.
A guardian carried the child’s books and looked after the child but did not teach. For Paul, New
Testament pastor-theologian, the Law of Moses, specifically the Ten Commandments, served as
a guardian, a nanny, to bring me to Christ.
Our Jewish friends keep a copy of the Torah, the Law, in their synagogues. What an incredible
gift, a tangible reminder of our awesome God. The Law powerfully reminds me of God’s high
standards, in fact, of God’s impossible standards. Day after day, failure after failure, I strive to
reach perfection, only to collapse inevitably back to the hard surface of reality.
The law, Paul said, cannot bring perfection. The law brings me to a Roman cross where Jesus
offered his very life for me and God poured out his unfathomable grace upon me.
Neither parents nor professors could make me perfect. Instead, they brought me to a point of
decision. I could selfishly resist all outside help and try harder for perfection or I could collapse
imperfect into the arms of God’s amazing grace. I chose grace. And you?

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