Teachable Paths and Empty Vessels

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The challenge put out to us this week at church:  to remain teachable.

The pastor posed two questions part way through the message.

Do I have a teachable spirit?
What is God teaching me right now?

As I pondered the first question this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder if I were to quickly answer ‘yes’ that maybe it’s a sign that I’m not as teachable as I think I am. To me, that question is as tricky to answer as the “Are you a humble person?” question, because the moment we think we are then (perhaps) a portion of us really isn’t very humble. Having a teachable spirit requires humility.

I want to have a teachable spirit, but I think there are times when I deceive myself. I think of the verse in Jeremiah that says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” 

So, I guess my point is that I don’t think the first question is a one time “yes” answer. It can’t be. In order to have a teachable spirit we have to constantly be re-evaluating our hearts and our motives. It becomes an ongoing journey because things have a tendency to change so quickly. You can have a teachable spirit one moment and then the next moment your spirit becomes as closed as a clenched fist.

So my answer: I want to have a teachable spirit. Lord, teach me. Show me how to have a teachable spirit every hour of every day.

The second question. What is God teaching me right now?

I love this question. It’s a great ongoing question to ask ourselves. Answering it requires us to live attentively, with our eyes and hearts wide open. I was reminded of a post I wrote last year called When Your Story Has a Theme 

I love discovering the common lessons being woven through each experience we have.  Lately, it seems like I am supposed to be learning and remembering this: Who is capable of filling us and satisfying us completely?  

Let me take you on the breadcrumb journey as I retrace my steps these last couple of days…

On Friday, I joined the Five Minute Friday community.  The word prompt for the week was FILL. I wrote about my early days in sobriety and that first time I felt His Joy (and not alcohol) sustaining me again.  Instead of trying to rely on the temporary and fleeting, I was relying on Him.  He was able to quench my thirst in a way wine never could.

On Sunday, along with these two questions, the pastor kicked off the message with this thought:  We are empty vessels that have to be filled with something.

And, this morning, I read in my quiet time;  “Open yourself to My loving Presence, so that I may fill you with my fullness.”- Jesus Calling

One of the recommended reading verses was from John 6 when Jesus is talking about being the bread of life.  I decided to read the whole section.  Here are sections that stood out to me:

Jesus answered, “I assure you: You are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled.  Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.” (26, 27)

I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again. (35)

 This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (50-51)

In conclusion, have a I completely figured out what I’m supposed to learn from everything God seems to be teaching me right now?  No.  But, I do see the common theme.

He alone fill us up.  Don’t be tempted to consume things that won’t last.  Focus on the Bread that is eternal.  

Today, I offer those questions for you to ponder this week too.

Do I have a teachable spirit?
What is God teaching me right now?

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