Think backmaybe WAAAAY backto your favorite teacher. Most people can remember a teacher who inspired them, pushed them, encouraged them, and made an indelible impression on them. Perhaps you have children who have just returned to school, who are looking forward to being in Mr. or Mrs. or Miss So-and-so's class. Maybe it's a favorite coach or service worker. Inspiration can come from just about anyone.
I had a few favorite teachers, most of whom were, not surprisingly, English teachers. Mr. Torres and Miss Peters were high school teachers who were very interested in their students, and encouraged them to stretch their abilities. They were as close to being friends as teachers could get with students.
Mr. Torres allowed a group of us to make a film for an English project, and created a literary magazine for students. I was on the first editorial team, and was also the first to be removed due to downsizing. That real-world experience aside, this brief association taught me a lot about writing, teamwork, and internal politics, lessons that have stayed with me for . . . several . . . years.
Miss Peters was a trip. She, too, was a friend and encourager. Truthfully, I can't remember anything she taught us, but I do remember how disappointed she was when she found out that I was forging her signature on dozens of fake hall passes. Maturity was not my major in high school.
I have a favorite teacher now, only he has no name. Yet, he is always with me, and has been with me for over 27 years. He doesn't keep his stuff in a locker, spend break times in the teachers' lounge, or take the summer off. He needn't study the latest journals, take night classes, or attend seminars. He tutors without charge and has only one textbook. He is the Holy Spirit, and his textbook is the Bible.
Before Jesus left this earth, he promised, "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you foreverthe Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you" (John 14:16, 17). This teacher's job description is to "teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you" (John 14:26, NASB).
The Spirit's textbook is actually an amazing library of 66 books, each one written by him and perfectly consistent. This textbook needs no revision or emendation, and is usable in any situation. Its knowledge of the human condition transcends any sociology tome, and its remedies outperform the best guesses of the most learned psychologists. Its source is eminently reliable, the Author having lived since before the foundation of the world, continuing throughout eternity.
The Bible is the world's best-selling book. It may also hold the record for collecting the most dust. And yet, it is not a dusty collection of mythical stories and outdated dogmait is as alive and relevant now as its divine Author is. The Bible's dedicated students are just as alive and relevant. "Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever" (1 Peter 1:23, NKJV).
Some day, the Bible will no longer be neglected, it will be everyone's favorite textbook, and the Holy Spirit will be everyone's favorite teacher. "All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children" (Isaiah 54:13, NKJV). "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14).
Wouldn't this be a good time to sign up for the class taught by the most inspiring Teacher, using the most reliable textbook?