“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.”

“The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

My Comment:

Those of us who were alive at the time of Dr. King’s tragic death will likely never forget the day it happened and where we were at the time.

I was an English teacher and Programmed Learning Laboratory staff member at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan, back then.

It was decided that staff members would encourage students to write anonymous essays about how the students and teachers could promote greater harmony at the school. I was selected by the faculty to read all the essays submitted by the students and present a summary of the ideas the students suggested.

Warning to students: if your English teacher requires you to do a lot of writing like I did, leaving your name off a handwritten paper will not hide your identity from your English teacher!

One student’s paper was written in red ink. She wrote about me, and complained that I was very prejudiced against my students and always thought I had the best or most valid interpretation of a poem or short story. I knew instantly who this student was. Apparently she was still upset about how I taught and interpreted the short story by Anton Checkov titled “The Bet.” You can read about how I interpret this story by looking in the Archives here under “Education Issues.”

At the next semi-annual meeting of the Michigan Teachers’ Christian Fellowship, I read the paper (not naming the student) and asked for prayer on her behalf.

The last day of attendance of her senior year this student came to my room and gave me her graduation picture. She asked that I read what she wrote on the back of the picture while she waited:

“You were my first teacher at Cass. I remember I came into your class late because I had to get my schedule. I had a grudge against you that whole semester and made it  plain in your eyes. I would now like to pass that off as immaturity and inconsideration. I graduate in a few days and I ask your forgiveness. I have heard many good things about you. God stay with you!”

When I got home that evening in 1970 my brother and I prayed earnestly for her.

Some years later my aide in the Programmed Learning Laboratory asked me if I remembered this student. Unknown to me, they were apparently best friends. My aide told me that my student went up to the University of Michigan where she would begin her college career the day after she had given me her graduation picture. The sorority house where she was to stay was a Christian house and she was led to saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ that very day.

My Aide had come to personal faith in our Lord Jesus Christ when I was, at his request, teaching a member of the Bible Discussion Club how to lead his student friends to Christ using James Kennedy’s “Coral Ridge Program.” He had brought her up to the Programmed Learning Laboratory before school started. I assumed she was a Christian, but I went through the Bible passages with her. The next day, early in the morning, the Bible Club member literally ran up the seven flights of stairs to the Programmed Learning Laboratory and asked me if I had heard what happened. Of course, I had not heard anything yet.

The student he had brought with him the day before discovered that her mother was leaving her home. Suitcases were packed. That meant the student friend would have to care for the family of eight children herself in place of her mother. The student friend prayed that very night and accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior based upon the Scripture I had shared with her earlier that day. I am no longer in touch with her, though I was in touch with her for many years after that. I keep her and her family regularly in my prayers. One of her sons became a missionary to Mexico.

Like Dr. King emphasized, we need to concentrate more on developing and using spiritual power. We each can do that by sharing God’s Word in the Bible as God opens opportunities in our lives to do so.

This entry was posted in Christian Living, Education Issues, Principles of Christian Living and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.”

  1. ken sagely says:

    greetings jerry enjoyed your sharing about your students turning to the Lord
    it just reinforces heb 4.12 how powerful the Word of God is !! amen ken

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