To borrow a phrase from Jeff Foxworthy’s game show: “Are you smarter than a fifth-grader?” Or at least a fifth-grade Sunday school student?
Let’s find out. Today’s column is a pop quiz.
It’s a closed-book, true-false test. So, take out your pencil. Circle the correct answer.
1. Eve ate the apple Adam gave her. True or False?
2. Jonah was a Bible character swallowed by a killer whale. T or F.
3. The angels sang two songs at the birth of Jesus. T or F.
4. Moses brought two of each animal variety onto the ark. T or F.
If you answered true to any of those questions, it’s likely you’re not a big Bible reader.
Please don’t be disheartened or stop reading this column. You’re the one I want to talk to today. No, not because I want to lecture you on Bible trivia, but because I think there’s a good chance you’re smart enough to have noticed something about faith and spirituality.
I know my friend, Chris Jenson, has noticed it. But, before I tell you what it is he has noticed, let me tell you about Chris.
Chris sits next to me in our vanpool. One day he surprised me when he didn’t recognize a common biblical saying about casting your pearls before swine. He surprised me because he’s really smart. I mean “smart” like “Jeopardy”-champ smart.
Thought he may not choose the questions from “Jeopardy’s” Bible column, he’s smart enough to have observed something about faith. And he’s noticed it at the local Costco store.
Costco is a store Chris loves, but he avoids it on Sunday afternoon. He avoids it because, as he infers from people’s clothing, most of the clientele have come directly from church.
He notices what these folks may have learned that day in church seems to have nothing to do with the way they live. They still push, sneer and pounce on every deal in sight.
Chris knows life is the real test, not what they’ve learned in Bible school. And he knows the people he sees are flunking the test.
He knows, as do most fifth-graders, that at the end of everyday, it’s not how much Bible, Buddha, Brahma, Bhagavad-Gita or Book of Mormon you can recite, but it’s how you live your faith that matters — or, more precisely, how your faith lives in you.
And one of the most accurate descriptions or litmus tests of that faith I know is the one found in Galatians 5:22-23. “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
When you see these things acted out in people, you know faith works.
If you don’t believe me, just ask any fifth-grader.
Answers to Norris’ pop quiz
None of the events described in the questions happened at all. 1. Eve offered the fruit to Adam, not vice-versa. Also, no mention is made of the variety of fruit consumed. 2. Jonah was swallowed by a big fish and no mention is made of the variety of fish. 3. The angels never hosted a variety show. In fact, they never sang at all. 4. Moses never brought a single variety of animal to the ark, because Noah did that.