Monday, August 6, 2012

I Don't Want To Be a Pharisee

School starts soon.

Foremost in my mind has been getting the kids ready for their first day of school.  Supplies have been bought, first day of school clothes picked out.  Teachers prayed over.  They start next week.  Summer is coming to an end.

In the back of my mind, the realization that once they start school I will soon start too has been growing.  I'm not as convinced that I am ready for MY school to start.  My heart rate increases just thinking about it.

I think the one thing I fear the most, well that's not entirely true, more accurately, one of the MANY things I fear is this thought that came to me awhile back.  I first started out in ministry at this little church in the heart of Westport in Kansas City, MO.  It was an urban church for  sure, full of broken people trying to rebuild their lives.  My husband and I led the children's ministry and on occasion I would talk on sunday mornings to "big church" as we call it in our family.  I loved this chance to share what God was teaching me with the adults.  I had no real training but our pastor put together a teaching team to help train and encourage a handful of us who wanted to be bible teachers.  We would always joke when it was our turn to speak in big church that it didn't matter if we had seminary degrees or not. The disciples  didn't have seminary degrees did they?  The "spiritually educated" people in Jesus time were the pharisees, and who wanted to be a pharisee!

This thought came to my mind a few weeks ago.  I remembered laughing with my friends on the teaching team (2 of which our now full time pastors) that we didn't need seminary.  That was 5 years ago.  Now I am getting ready to start my first seminary class in just a few weeks.  And all I can think about is "I don't want to be a pharisee".  In John today, I read about how Jesus ridiculed the pharisees for studying the scripture but not understanding it.  I don't want that to be me.  The pharisees were proud, judgmental of others, and consider themselves above reproach.  I don't want to be like that.

I am desperate to live the life God wants me to live, to serve him with all that I have and the gifts he has given me.  But I have to say that I am scared of this path.  I'm not sure I can do it, I'm not sure I want to do it, that I'm supposed to to do it.  I don't want to be a pharisee!  There is a certain humility that comes with being uneducated.  I don't have most of the answers my kids ask.  I don't have sage words of wisdom to give my friends.  I would make a horrible counselor.  I recognize on an hourly basis how far I am from who God wants me to be.  But what if I do become that person?  Will it change who I am on the inside?  Will I become prideful? Judgmental? Will I become a pharisee?

I don't want to be a pharisee.