Kelly really enjoyed her 7th grade science class with Mr. Newman. Although she wasn’t very good at school, she was doing great in his class and learning new things every day. She had discovered fossils, raced an alligator’s best time, drew comic strips, looked up at the sky with a telescope, assessed the damage of a twister, and explored crop circles all in the span of one school year. Best thing of all… NO HOMEWORK! But now, it was coming to a close. Although she was really looking forward to summer, this was one class she would actually miss. On this last week of school he was bringing in videos that demonstrated different ideas he wanted to leave his students with before they headed off to the eighth grade. Today he brought in an episode of The Twilight Zone. Kelly smiled and shook her head. That’s Mr. Newman!
He began by asking the class, “If Martians exist, what do you think they look like?”
Hands shot up to answer but most students just blurted out, “Green skin and one antenna!”
“Like my brother!” Kelly yelled. The class erupted with laughter.
“All right, all right!” Mr. Newman calmed them down. “Has anyone ever seen a Martian?” Kelly was the only hand in the air. More laughter.
“All right, KELLY. All joking aside, why do you believe Martians look that way?”
The class room was eerie quiet. It was a question no one could answer. Even Kelly couldn’t think of something funny to say.
“There are many things that you have learned this year, that you have discovered on your own. We did experiments to find answers. There are other things you learned because I told you. What I told you, you will remember for a year, maybe two. But what you discovered you won’t soon forget and you will know why you believe it!”
Well, that was deep. They watched The Twilight Zone in anticipation of getting a glimpse of what a Martian looked like. It turns out, according to the movie, Martians look just like us. And, to Kelly’s amusement, one of them looked an awful lot like her brother!
After school, her mother picked her up. “Did you remember your Bible?” she asked. Oh no! How could she forget about the Bible study?! Fortunately she always carried a Bible in her bookbag, but the problem was today she was supposed to lead it!
“Great!” she sighed as she flipped through the pages of her Bible to find something to lead the discussion.
As they pulled up at the church she still had nothing. Her mother kissed her good-by. “Don’t worry, Honey. I’m sure you’ll figure out something.” Kelly just wished her mother, in all her adult wisdom, would just tell her what to talk about. But she knew that this was her Bible study. It’s just like Mr. Newman had said…. Suddenly she got an idea.
Everyone was already snacking on the finger foods when she walked into the room. The youth director, Mrs. Laurie, gathered everyone together for a prayer. Then it was Kelly’s turn.
“Kelly, are you ready?”
“Ready as I’ll ever be!” and she began. “First I have a question for everyone. What is God like?”
Everyone called out different attributes of God.
“How do we know that God is like this?”
There was no eerie silence. Immediately the group responded almost simultaneously, “The Bible!”
Kelly smiled at their response. “Yes! 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to be ready for someone to ask us about our beliefs. Well, we all know that the best way to learn something is to experience it. That’s the reason we are taking turns leading Bible study, right? We experience God by talking to Him through prayer, and listening to Him through the Bible. It’s not enough to just listen to what other people believe about God. We have to jump in and get some ourselves. When we find God’s truth on our own, it is a lesson we won’t soon forget and, more importantly, we will know why we believe it!”
After the Bible study, Mrs. Laurie told her she was impressed with the message she gave. Kelly replied that she was, too! As Kelly waited for her mother, she thanked God for teaching her a lesson that she will remember for a long time.