"Study to show thyself approved unto God," the Good Book says. That verse was painted on a banner at the front of my second grade classroom at Central Baptist Elementary school (long
shuddered shuttered), right above the chalkboard. My teacher read it aloud each morning, stabbing her rubber-tipped pointer at every word. I remember copying it 100 times–in cursive–every time I "sinned." Which may or may not have happened quite a lot.
As with many Christian schools at that time, the King James version of the Bible was one of our primary textbooks. If you’re familiar with it, you’ll know that some passages are almost impossible to translate, even as an adult! I now think my teacher misinterpreted that verse, but not by accident. No surprise, I realized much later that I had also twisted the meaning of several passages, albeit not on purpose. For example, when Jesus says, "Suffer little children…." I thought He meant that I must endure severe hardships before I was found worthy. Over time, I learned to read Scriptures much differently, hallelujah and amen.
It’s fun to re-examine the belief systems–and misconceptions–that governed my growing-up experiences. I’m often reminded of Gilda Radner’s (genius) "Emily Litella" skits. She’d get herself all worked up in a lather about something that she’d obviously misinterpreted. When someone
pointed out the obvious made her aware of the error, she’d stop mid-sentence, stare sheepishly into the camera and say, "Never mind!" My memoir’s not a comedy by any means, but I do have lots of aha moments.
Here’s a YouTube video of Emily Litella as a substitute teacher. Grab a cup of coffee, move away from the keyboard, and laugh until you snort!