Professor Bridges

My former professor asked me to preach at his church this Sunday. This is a huge honor for me because Professor Bridges' class was one of my favorite. He taught my world religions class at Villa Julie College. During that time, my walk with God, was very sporadic. I was searching for truth in so many different places. Eastern Religions was my particular flavor then and that was where I focused my attention.

There was one thing that still holds my attention though. In the first class Professor Bridges asked the class, "Who wants an A in this class?" Of course this grabbed everyone's attention. He took out a small rectangular box that appeared to be wrapped in scotch tape. He showed it to the class and passed it around so everyone could examine it.

He then said that anyone who could guess what was in the box would receive an A. This caught everyone by surprise and then people wanted to really look at the box. He passed it around the room again and as it got half-way through the students someone called out they thought the object was. Then someone else did the same.

Professor Bridges stopped them and explained how this would work. He explained that any student who wanted to guess had to tell the class and then they were free to leave class. Students asked if he would tell them if they were right before they left class. He said no. He said that anyone who wanted to guess had to wait until the end of the semester. On final day the student could come in and check the contents of the box.

Students were upset. They said that it wasn't fair. Professor Bridges than asked if anyone wanted to guess. Of course no one took him up on his offer. Professor Bridges then put away his box and addressed the class. This is in essence what religion is. You make a decision and you live your life as if it is true.

I was floored by this. And even though it didn't cause me to jump back into the faith I had walked away from, it did give me a lot of food for thought. I used this story with many of my students.

Professor Bridges is the leader at Elkridge Baptist Church in Elkridge, MD

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