Nevertheless, he was extremely intelligent, always scoring near the top of our class, no matter the subject. Unfortunately, however, his intelligence could sometimes be manifest as much through his wit as through his test scores. Once, when we were in the hallway awaiting the bell to assemble for homeroom and the start of the school day, he obviously said or did something that aroused the ire of a large, imposing classmate.
Let’s just say that this latter individual excelled more on the playing field than in the classroom. In fact, he would go on one day to play football at a power five university.
Anyway, to this day, I remember seeing my friend being jerked up by the shirt collar and shoved up against a locker with his feet literally dangling above the floor, and hearing his assailant angrily growling these words at him: “Now say something smart, kid, now say something smart!” I never knew exactly what my friend had originally said; but I will never forget what he said next. Unable to resist himself, I suppose, my friend calmly retorted: “E = mc2!”
Suffice it to say that a chorus of laughter went up from those of us around them. As might be expected, this did nothing to relieve the tension, but only served to intensify the bully’s anger, not only at my friend, but at those of us who chuckled as well. I suppose that had a teacher not happened up on the situation and diffused the matter, my friend may well have paid a very heavy price for his wit.
Still, I have often admired my friend for his ability to respond so quickly in such situations. I, myself, can be witty and even acerbic at times. But I find that I usually need a little time to think through my responses to challenging situations. While such an approach often allows for a more detailed and thorough reply, it does little to satisfy the modern world’s appreciation for soundbite worthy sarcasm. But I digress…
I shared the above story as the result of having recently seen a television commercial which struck me as quite effective. You see, the older I get, the harder I find it is for me to remember things. That’s why these days, my wife and I, like so many others our age, take a memory supplement. (I will not here identify the specific brand we use. There are several good ones on the market; and I will let my readers decide if they need one, and which brand they might choose.)
One brand, however, deserves credit for its marketing campaign. Halfway through the television commercial employed for its promotion, the actor who has discovered the product suddenly develops a huge, thick, and disheveled head of grey hair along with a matching set of bushy eyebrows and mustache. The catchphrase is then revealed, as the announcer challenges us would-be consumers to “Get your Einstein on!”
Now, I’m certainly no Einstein! But I did get the point of the commercial. Its inference is immediate and effective. After all, in our culture, Albert Einstein is synonymous with genius. And when we think of intelligent phrases, we often think of his celebrated theory of special relativity, commonly expressed as “E = mc2”, meaning that mass and energy are the same physical entity and can be changed into each other.
Thus, in the equation, the increased relativistic mass (m) of a body times the speed of light squared (c2) is equal to the kinetic energy (E) of that body, or in simpler terms, “energy equals mass times the speed of light squared”.
Granted, not everyone can qualify as a theoretical physicist; and the above theory may not get you all excited. Yet, few, if any of us, care to be seen as unintelligent. Thus, while we might feel free to apply such terms as “dumb” or “stupid” to others, we find ourselves offended when others apply them to us.
Perhaps it is a worthy thing, therefore, to go about getting one’s Einstein on. In truth, most anything we can do to increase our mental capacity is commendable. Hopefully, the more we use our God-given intelligence, the greater the benefit to us and our fellow man.
But there is an even greater way to benefit ourselves and our neighbors. And that is not just to grow mentally, but also to grow spiritually. How much better off would the world be if we all placed as much of a premium on maturity in our spiritual lives as we do in our intellectual lives?!
Luke’s New Testament Gospel (chapter 2, verse 52 NIV), tells us that “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” It follows, therefore, that Jesus valued His mind, as well as His body. But He clearly valued His soul as well. So much so that He appears to have placed enough of a premium on growing spiritually that He viewed it as a prerequisite to relating to and benefitting those around Him.
In light of this, should we not do the same? If we truly desire to improve the quality of life for ourselves and those around us, should we not also place as much of a premium on spiritual maturity as we do on intellectual and physical maturity? Yes, we should.
Why not let your spiritual growth be so apparent that when others see you, they see someone who values more than just the mind or the body, but someone who values the soul as well? In other words, why not “Get your Jesus on!”, and let others see Jesus in you?