Breaking the T-Shirt Habit

Hi All! Can’t believe September is nearly over – still hoping to be wearing shorts on Oct 1st! It’s a kind of ‘victory over the elements’ thing for me! Anyway today’s topic is not about stopping wearing t-shirts – I deliberately dress down when I lead or preach at church services to put people at ease and demonstrate God accepts us as we are. No the t-shirt in the title refers to the phrase “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt”!

Love the phrase. But I realise we have that attitude to spiritual life and learning too – it appears to be hardwired into our culture and it takes a concerted effort – and some friends helping along the way too – to break that pattern of thinking.

Let me illustrate: recently an experienced rugby coach from the R.F.U. (the headquarters of English Rugby) came to teach some youngsters about scrummaging. After introducing himself and why he was there, one of the kids replied, “Oh we’ve done that already”. To which the coach, I think a little wryly, said: “Do you not think I could teach you anything about it?” Clearly, this boy and some others wanted to look cool and knowledgeable, not in need of some help. It’s funny, isn’t it? But also sad to see the chasm between the coach’s experience and desire to impart a practical knowledge, and the pupil’s readiness to learn. I guess that’s why the best teachers are those who make you want to learn.

It’s that mentality that stops us from learning, and it lingers all through life if we let it. Elite or professional sports people are constantly learning from every game/competition, and using every experience to get better. Wouldn’t it be great if we had that same search for learning and improvement in our spiritual lives? I think that’s why Jesus called people to follow him and learn from him. Instead of thinking: evangelism, done that course. Or reading the Bible, I know how to do that! Prayer, read so many books I could probably write one! He wants us to be hungry to learn from his eternal wisdom. Some people have this relentless pursuit of improvement and learning in their professional life but see no link to their spiritual life.

So are you satisfied with your life and spiritual life? What do you want to grow in? What do you think you need to grow in at the moment? What is Jesus offering to help you in? How can you go about that? Who can help you?