With the beginning of a new college semester, I think back to my own college days. During those years, I had many wonderful professors who were friendly and engaging. Then I had a few that were really intimidating. One was an English professor.
My sophomore year, I needed an English class so I chose an English professor that had a good reputation with students. But during registration, the class closed. My only option was English literature with the professor who had the reputation of being tough. Professor Anonymous (the world is small and someone may be kin to her!) was a tough old “boot” as some would say.
She was all business. Each class meeting I walked into class intimidated and walked out deflated. I just tried to blend in with the crowd in the room for fear that she would notice me and call on me.
At the end of one class period, she told us that we would have an oral examination in front of the class the next class meeting. She said that she would randomly call on students, ask the question and then our grade was based on our ability to answer correctly in front of everyone.
The day of the test my nerves were shot. I got to class early so I could study a few extra minutes. Then she appeared at the door with her usual black stockings and black orthopedic shoes. She walked to the podium, and with glasses pulled down to the tip of her nose, she noted the seating chart and then directed her first question to a girl some rows from me.
I sat nervously though six or seven questions. I prayed for a tornado, a natural disaster or an unexpected event from God. I hoped for a fire so we could all leave. I hoped we would run out of time before my time. But finally she got to me.
She said, “Miss Scott — this one is for you.”
All week I had studied. I talked to others in class and asked what they thought. I called Daddy and got his take because one of our readings had some religious meaning to it. I talked to the girl across the hall in the dorm who had had the same class a semester before. I made a study guide. I prayed!
I started my response and my self-confidence grew as I talked on. I said some things that just came out unexpectedly that really had nothing to do with the subject. I thought the more I talked the better it was. I thought the teacher she was impressed because I had sources — I quoted people who were experts and I used flowery language.
“Well Miss Scott … that was interesting … you don’t know do you?”
I had done no thinking for myself and depended on others to form my thinking. Some of the opinions of experts I repeated didn’t even make sense to me. I had no point of my own.
It is many times good to have others’ opinions. It is good to have my doctor’s opinion. When my air conditioning unit is broken, I look to and respect the man who comes and gives me his opinion. When the veterinarian says that we have to treat our Scottie and our Dachshund for fleas because they were around another dog with fleas, I respect what he says.
But when it comes to Christ, my relationship and my obedience to him is my choice on my own. When we all come to the end of our lives, what will matter most is our opinion and relationship with Jesus. All that will matter is that we have accepted him personally.
What is your opinion of him?