Like many people, I love a good mystery. I loved reading those Encyclopedia Brown books as a kid. I still love Sherlock Holmes stories. Logic puzzles would completely frustrate me until I was able to put the last answer down, but I was drawn to them every time.
I guess this is what led to my love for mathematics and my change to math major in college. But, it wasn’t always that way. In high school, I struggled with math. I was an “A” student, but when I got into Algebra and Calculus, my grades began to nose-dive. This created quite a drama. I had the desire and the drive to be good at math, but I couldn’t understand it. Looking back, I now understand that my math teachers were two coaches and the choral director. I remember asking for help but not getting much.
My first year at Oscar Rose Jr. College in Oklahoma City, I decided that I would go back to Intermediate Algebra and if I didn’t get it, I would forget about math and go a different direction. I had the priviledge of sitting under one of the most famous mathmaticians of our time, John Saxon.
This eccentric little German man came complete with a funny accent, Tyrolean hat and a beer stein (I still wonder what was in that pewter mug), but he had passion to teach. He taught us from unfinished manuscripts (which later became his famous textbooks), and he had us all up at the chalkboards working out problem after problem. (Yes we really used chalk! Boy, I’m starting to feel old)
Today, even after his passing, elementary and middle school students are using Saxon math textbooks – especially homeschoolers. It’s highly sought after and highly effective. Mr. Saxon knew the secret to teaching math. He had passion. He got us involved. He had us memorize acronyms to remember formulas (do you think this is where my abnormal love of acronyms was born?). Not only did I start to understand math, I loved it! I changed my major from computer science to mathamatics. John Saxon made me want to be a math teacher. I knew that if one man could change my understanding so drastically, I wanted to be able to do the same.
As I read today’s chapter, God’s secret plan jumped off the page:
2 As you already know, God has given me this special ministry of announcing his favor to you Gentiles. 3 As I briefly mentioned earlier in this letter, God himself revealed his secret plan to me. 4 As you read what I have written, you will understand what I know about this plan regarding Christ. 5 God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now he has revealed it by the Holy Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets. 6 And this is the secret plan: The Gentiles have an equal share with the Jews in all the riches inherited by God’s children. Both groups have believed the Good News, and both are part of the same body and enjoy together the promise of blessings through Christ Jesus. 7 By God’s special favor and mighty power, I have been given the wonderful privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.
I’m not of Jewish heritage, but God revealed to Paul His “secret plan” to take the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ to everyone, not just those of Jewish heritege. It was God’s plan all along! But, He chose not to reveal this plan to previous generations.
Like my struggles with math, until the right teacher came along I was hopeless. I wanted to understand and I knew I liked math, but something was missing. I asked for help, but couldn’t receive understanding from the answers I was given.
Praise God that He chose to include all the world (Jews and Gentiles alike) in His plan! And, I’m thankful that we have God’s Word to bring us the truth (the secret plan).
Okay gumshoes, your mission, should you choose to accept it: share the secret plan with those around you today.
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