Once upon a VBS, I memorized the 15 judges of Israel, the 10 plagues, the books of the OT and NT, and more. I’m glad I had that opportunity.
I remember VBS — which now seems largely passé to me as an enterprise, given cultural shifting — as a vital part of the church summer, with lots of activity and devoted teachers and Kool-Aid™ and cookies.
Once upon a college Bible course — in my junior year at Harding University — I listened to the late Avon Malone teach and share based on the so-called “general letters” (James, the Peters, and Jude). I’m glad I could learn from this man.
I remember Malone as a storehouse of tidbits and cross-references. I wrote notes in the margins of my then-new, wide-margin NASB like nobody’s business. I glowed with newfound Bible knowledge. Others at Harding were a bit more ambitious and took Romans class under Jimmy Allen. They memorized all of chapter 12, I heard — and possibly chapters 5 and 8, too. They probably glowed more, but I did appreciate Malone’s class: the Bible was coming alive for me in new ways.
Once upon a jazz ensemble, I learned much about four-and five-note chords and voicing techniques like “drop 2.” I glowed with newfound musical knowledge.
I remember Jazz Improv class and Jazz Band as fun, good high school music-making experiences, and as the preference of Mr. Byerly, the director, who had in another lifetime played with the Jimmy Dorsey Band. These were important times for me: music was coming alive in new ways.
But . . . I’ve since learned and experienced deeper things about music. I’ve learned to interact more when I play. I’ve learned about matching articulations and styles. I’ve learned about beat-grouping and interpretation. I’ve learned and experienced that conductors should “look like the music” when they lead — nonverbally evoking the music intended by the composer.
And . . . I’ve since learned and experienced deeper things about the Bible since VBS and college Bible courses, too.
Whether in music or in biblical studies, may we be of the same mind: to grow, from the point at which we find ourselves, in knowledge and depth of insight.
“It’s difficult to believe in something when your knowledge is so limited.”
– Joe from the TV series “Halt and Catch Fire” — speaking to those who had blinders on and were not seeing the future; referring, I think, to the then-forthcoming 286 computer and related specs