Finding our way through the various pathways in this life is no easy task. Life often presents itself to us as a maze, an obstacle coarse, or a labyrinth. We need a map. Only after we have trodden any pathway on the feet of our own experience can we be sure that our current steps will lead us to a successful end. We are blind to that which lies around the corner, unless we have previously rounded that corner and gained first-hand knowledge for ourselves. All of us have been schooled in that institution whose famous motto is “experience is the best teacher.” At the end of some of those hard lessons in life, we often find ourselves wishing we could secure a different teacher rather than the tutor who comes with the school of hard knocks.
If we would prefer not to learn all our lessons by the process of autonomy and independence, then we must be open to the idea of learning from the hand of another. All men embrace this idea in some measure as is evidenced when we send the children to school, pay the piano teacher for the weekly lessons, or sign up for the adult education class. These actions and others like them are our testimony that life is best lived when we are influenced by the wisdom of an instructor. A person who has walked a road, found the wisdom, spied out the pitfalls, and laid out a course of action can impart to us the needed instruction to speed up our journey and insure our success. But, without the help of those who can guide, we are committed to that process of trial and error, attempt and fail, or hit and miss that wears out our energy and undermines our nerves.
Why then, would we choose to not heed the voice of a teacher? Could it be that the voice of our arrogance, self-reliance, or independence dooms us to walk the hard road? If we love success, we must love instruction. If we love instruction, we must embrace an instructor. And finally, if we embrace the instructor, we must forfeit the mindset that refuses the harness of the coach, the discipline of the master, the chastisement of the pedagogue, and the evaluation of the tutor.
Once we have accepted the teacher, we must abide in the process until we have been taught. We cannot forsake the instructor or the instruction when the requirements become burdensome, the grades are less than complimentary, the exercise demands continuance, or the process grows painful. We must remain under the teacher until we have passed the course and gained the wisdom. Loving instruction is the process of ranking under a tutor until that tutor releases us through graduation and promotion. Loving instruction, therefore, demands a humble and contrite heart, one that knows the wisdom of submission to a master and the benefits of receiving from an expert. Such a man, the scriptures tell us, has great value in God’s eyes and is promised exaltation and prosperity in God’s kingdom and in this life. Those who love instruction will themselves become the masters and the tutors of tomorrow.
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