When you say “history” I immediately can envision a middle school teacher of mine, in an icy cold classroom, clicking the projector and slides, with the lights out, while I take my pencil and poke my eyebrows to keep my eyes open. It was torturous. My second thought is about a high school teacher who had hand written notes and literally read them to us. Booooring!
Then I think about my college experience with history, that kind of reflects the other two experiences… it was an 8:00am class, with a cute missions student that sat next to me, along with my sorority sisters, and the teacher read his hand written notes…what’s with the hand written notes??
Anyway… no wonder I don’t know much about history…It never really seemed like something the teachers got excited about so why should I? Furthermore, if it wasn’t important enough for them to be able to recall most of it from memory…why would I want to? The only parts of history I CAN remember are about the antebellum homes we visited, things related to our DC and NYC trip, Egyptian history, and Native American History. The only reason I remember those is because those teachers made things come to life. My 6th grade teacher loved Egyptian history. She had gone to Egypt several times, and I remember her talking about the history and how the people sounded just like us…just in a different time period. Like it was almost our story…just with different people.
As for those other teachers who didn’t seem to love what they were teaching… in the words of Hemingway…
A few weeks ago, in a young adult Bible study I am in, someone made a comment about how dreadful it is to study the book of Exodus. I remember furrowing my brow, and thinking “well, they obviously didn’t have Dr. Pemberton teach them about it!” I thought the same thing up until I was a senior in college. My professor was an expert in the Old Testament. I took a class on the Pentatuch (Genesis, Exodus, Levitucus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), and it was one of my favorite classes. He loved what he taught. So, he made his students love it too. He pointed out the humor in the scripture, the irony, the love story, the symbolism, the scandals,…thus the scriptures came alive. They became part of my story.
It’s my story of experiences of learning to trust the Lord like Moses, taking the fruit satan has offered me instead of the garden God did, and God in turn restoring me and making me holy once again. It’s my story of figuring out that what God did then and how He does the same things today. The same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It’s my story of the breaking bread, worshiping, feet washing, fasting,… It’s my story in hearing a fresh word from ancient truths in scripture.
Today, I get the honor of helping a friend develop curriculum, experiences, small groups, talks, theme, etc for a girls retreat. All I can think is…how do we make Acts 2:42 come alive for them?? Where when they hear the word “Acts” they won’t just think ugh another history book of the Bible…but instead… that’s my story.