In the 1993 movie, “Philadelphia”, attorney Joe Miller, played by actor Denzel Washington, would ask his clients to explain their situation to him as if he were a two year old.
Such a request may come across as pejorative but most of us can relate to the desire to simplify any discussion or problem and distill it to the most basic of terms. In fact, one measure of a good teacher or leader is the ability to teach the most difficult of concepts to a layperson with no specialized training or background.
One of the most challenging areas in diagnostic pathology is hematopathology. The histopathologic changes of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, are subtle and cancerous changes are even more subtle, sometimes difficult to distinguish from normal. When I was a first year pathology resident, I was fortunate to train with a world-renowned hematopathologist who was famous for discovering and describing one of the most important categories of lymphomas, a collection of cancerous white blood cells invading a body organ. He was able to distill very complex descriptions into everyday examples. One phrase I will always remember was how he could bring out the subtle changes in the cell shape by subtly moving the focus of the microscope in and out. This action brought different parts of the cell into focus, as if he was animating the cells. “Look at the cells dance!” he would chuckle as he pointed out the nuances.He was explaining advanced diagnostic techniques as if I were a two-year old, but I understood!
It was a simple but powerful example. What is true in my professional life is even more true with my spiritual walk with God. How often do I need to be spoken and disciplined by God as if I were a two-year old? Too often! God is very clear that my heart should remain devoted to serving Him. When times are going well, it is easy, but then I grow lazy. I take God’s blessings for granted and my heart is swayed by the world. I convince myself that any success is through my actions and hard work, not by His grace and blessings. When things begin going awry, I come crying back to God like a lost child, asking Him for forgiveness for my sinful ways and restoring the sanctity of our fellowship. Is it any wonder that God needs to explain His ways to me like a two-year old?
“Who does the LORD think we are?” they ask. “Why does he speak to us like this? Are we little children, just recently weaned? He tells us everything over and over—one line at a time, one line at a time, a little here, and a little there!”
Isaiah 28:9-10 (NLT)
Until I learn to be obedient and trusting of God’s guidance and direction in my life, He will need to continue to explain it to me like I am a two-year old. When will I ever grow up? Only when I am in Heaven, in the glorious presence of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.