When I went to college for my engineering degree, I had some real difficult classes, while others were somewhat easy.
I remember my “Heat Transfer” classes, which were taught by a French-Jewish professor (people said he had been in a concentration camp during the war, but I am not sure if that was true), who was always rude with the students. This was known to be one of the toughest classes of all.
It was one of those larger classes, held in an auditorium style classroom, with over 100 students attending. I never missed that class, sat upfront, and always paid attention (I even stayed awake!).
This professor had a long beard (Duck Dynasty style), reading glasses sitting at the tip of his nose, and constantly smoked a pipe (yes, teachers were allowed to smoke in the classroom); and he would not spare offensive comments to students that couldn’t answer one of his questions.
One day he wrote a problem on the chalk board, turned to the class and asked “Does any of you have the slightest idea how to solve this problem?”.
Always being a shy person, I raised my hand and explained how I would solve it.
He turned to me and asked “Young man, do you like the military government?”. Well, during that time Brazil was under a military dictatorship, so my brain was turning at 1000 rpm trying to think if he expected me to say yes or no, so I answered “so, so…”.
He looked at me in the eyes, and said almost yelling “Why are you going to use a more complicated method, if there is an easier way?” He turned back to the chalk board and started solving the problem his way.
I was a little relieved that the reason he was harsh with me was only because he had an easier way to solve the problem, so while he is working on his solution, I went ahead and did it my way on my notebook.
Granted he was explaining as he solved the problem, so his speed was not the highest, but never the less, I finished before him, and got the same answer. I was very proud of myself, and by the time he was finished, I was shaking my head in approval, kind of agreeing with his answer.
Recently I was listening to the radio, and this pastor was talking about our relationship with God, and how we can be in His presence eternally. He explained that God is perfect, and we can’t expect to be with Him while carrying our sins. We have to get rid of them first.
Well, here is a situation where I am not able to present an alternative solution. Sin created a separation between God and me that I cannot bridge. I am not able to proudly present myself as worth of being in His presence by my own efforts.
In this case I have one option: accept that the only way to be with Him is the solution He offers.
That solution is that Jesus can cleanse my sins, and make me worth of being in His presence.
No other option.