Can we agree that some things in life can only truly be learned through experience?
You can date people, read romance novels, and even do Bible studies on the topic of love, but you do not understand marriage until at least 25 years of being married to someone. If you disagree with that, then you have not been with someone that long.
You can watch other people’s kids, read books about parenting, and even talk to other parents, but you do not understand being a parent until you have children. Even then, it takes a good 21 years to get any handle on what you are doing.
My dad spoke about knowledge in two ways. There was book learning. He often included the word “fancy,” as in “that fancy book learning.” The other type was what he called “street knowledge.” Those are life lessons you gather from having experiences, both good and bad, that make you wise in a practical way.
I believe that faith is really only understood through experience. You can read your Bible, books about religion, and even attend a Church, but you will not know faith until you have tried to do it. Nothing can compare to risking it all on God and then seeing him show up with ten seconds left on the game clock. No book can tell you what it feels like to be at the end of your rope, and God sends a sweet messenger of grace to speak light and life into your soul. I cannot put into words the emotions of watching someone positively rebuild their life because of something you taught them. Some things defy explanation and are only obtained through street knowledge.
This Sunday, I will step to the front of the Church to preach again. The words are full of hope, life, and grace, and I pray that people will listen. My biggest hope is that people will take those words and attempt to do them throughout the week. Information is useful, but personal experience is a much better teacher. If you want to know what it means to be a Christian, plan on coming Sunday, but you will not completely understand what I am saying until you do it next week.