It's been a long time since I've been this unable to sleep. Plenty of reasons why, and none of them matter at this particular moment. Suffice it to say that the soporific effects of an antihistamine sound terribly attractive at the moment. Or rather, that attractive as it sounds, I cannot conscience thus abusing a drug.
Two thoughts that crossed my mind on the way to work today, which I promptly committed to memory and then e-mailed to myself after getting to my desk:
- God has deeply blessed the church with the variety of teachers he has supplied it. I plan to tackle this topic from a different angle in a few weeks on Pillar, but for now, I simply note that I am encouraged by the variety of preachers who are presently reaching a wide audience. When men as diverse in preaching style as John Piper (in all his glorious bombast) and David Platt (in all his mellow Southern charm) are serving the people of God fruitfully, the diversity of his gifting is made clear. It is very good that we have such diverse teachers: the intensity and argumentative nature of Piper's preaching stirs my soul, but frustrates others. Platt's gentle exposition encourages many tender-hearted men and women, while I frankly struggle to concentrate (though I am blessed when I succeed). The same picture is (or should be!) true in the local church: the diversity of gifts and the diversity of expressions thereof edify the body far more than a monolithic similarity ever could.
- "I just realized this great spiritual truth! (Behold my insight in all its greatness!)" And the man discipling me looked on and smiled; I did not realize for another year how often he had said just what I had "discovered" for myself. All of us have done this, I think. Discipleship, as Stephen Carradini commented to me yesterday, is often the amusing experience of watching someone discover—as though entirely out of thin air—truths that you have been steadfastly repeating for the previous two years. We are slow to learn, and slower yet to understand that we learn slowly and usually from others' wisdom.