Chapter-a-Day Hebrews 5

Playing guitar on the back porch with Dad.

You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. Hebrews 5:12-14 (NLT)

I often refer to myself as a “back porch musician.” I can play the guitar and love to do so, but you’re not going to find me gigging at your local club this weekend. I’ve written a few songs just for the creative fun of it. I like to strum and pluck along with those who really know the craft, and Wendy will tell you that I get jazzed when asked and given the opportunity to play.

I had a few years of piano and drum lessons in elementary school and learned some of the rudimentary basics about music. I taught myself how to play the guitar in high school, then taught myself to play bass as an adult. I can still look at a sheet of music and tell you where a particular note is on the keyboard (just give me a second to think about it).

For over 30 years I’ve been an elementary musician. When it comes to being fluent in the language of music, I have not progressed much beyond the same knowledge I had when I was playing in the Woodlawn Elementary School band (I’m sure that was a treat for my parents). I have pangs of wishing I was a better musician. I try to play well and make small improvements, but at the end of the day I’m okay with being a back porch musician. I’ve focused my time and energy on other creative expressions. It’s all good.

What’s not all good is to think that the same stunted growth and rudimentary knowledge could or would apply to things of the Spirit. Spirit is like a muscle. Spirit is like a craft or an art form. Our spirit does not grow, mature, and develop without regular stretching, exercise, and nourishment. Without seeking we don’t find, Without knocking doors won’t open for us, without asking we don’t receive.

Our spiritual life is a journey, but only when we consciously make the effort to step up, step out, and press on. Throughout our lives we are given the choice to exit the journey at any number of comfortable rest areas along the path. There we can sit for the rest of our lives if we so choose, though we do so at our detriment. My musical knowledge and maturity will not count for much when this life is over, but my spiritual knowledge and maturity will have eternal consequences.

Feel like you’ve been sitting at a spiritual rest area since you were a kid? The entrance ramp is right there. Step up, step out, and join us. If you need some encouragement, give me a shout (tomvanderwell@gmail.com).

One thought on “Chapter-a-Day Hebrews 5”

  1. 8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.
    Wow, God’s own Son needed to learn obedience? Why are we surprised then, when we face struggles and trials? God, help me to remember that trials are placed so that I might become more obedient to you.

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