So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.
Mark 10:42-44 (NRSV)
How much have you invested in your education? I know personally I still owe the government quite a bit of money for the two degrees I’ve gotten. I’ve invested eight years in graduate school and still the things I use on a daily basis to achieve my objectives are the simple things my parents taught me. I could have saved a whole lot of money.
When I lead worship on Tuesdays, I have the theological background I built in seminary, but what makes that hour relevant is the fact that I listen the rest of the week to the people who are sitting around me. We can learn a lot from books and charts, but none of it means a thing unless we listen to the hearts of the people we serve.
At some point, we have to put away the scholarship, because it isn’t the final answer. We have to be students of the heart. Going beyond matching faces to names, do we know the very basic hurts and hopes of the daily struggles of the people around us? If we wish to be great at what we do, we have to see the greatness in others.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., said, “The world’s great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor its great scholars great men.”
–Chaplain Mark Mills