Professor John Keating was a new teacher at a stuffy Northeastern prep school for the privileged. Though his business card said English teacher, Prof Keating felt he had a higher calling . . . to teach his students to think. So, through a series of unorthodox methods, including a secret society, Keating sought to expand the minds of his students and show them the world. So goes the storyline of the 1989 movie “Dead Poet’s Society” starring Robin Williams.
One of the things that Keating was concerned about with his students was that they would not learn to find their own voice . . . that they would be swept along with the ideas of others. To illustrate his students’ willingness to conform, he had them march around the courtyard of the school (seen in the youtube video above.) Though they were not instructed to march in step, over time, the students all fell in line. Professor Keating’s illustration is powerfully instructive. We tend to walk like those we walk with. We tend to talk like those we talk with. We tend to think like those we dream with. We are greatly influenced by those around us.
In our spiritual lives, this is a very important sociological fact. Since we have a tendency to drift towards the ideas and ways of others, it matters a lot who we are around. Professor Keating wanted his students to all find their own voice, but as Christians, our voice has already been found. In Christ, we already have the direction of our walk determined and the duration of our days numbered. The core of our beliefs has already been established. Though our personal style allows all Christians to walk in different ways, our purpose and direction are all the same.
This truth is incredibly important to remember as we head into the final week of our “Anchored” study of the book of Hebrews at Wildwood Community Church. After spending the past 3 months in this great New Testament letter, we will conclude our series this Sunday. Over these 11 messages, we have seen the need for us to actively anchor ourselves to Christ to avoid a drift away from Him. The original recipients of this letter were tempted to drift away from their relationship with Christ to other more socially acceptable practices. They were tempted to start walking as the rest of their world walked. But the author of Hebrews cries out to them with a different message: “Keep marching with Jesus Christ! Stay anchored to Him!” We will take a look at the way this book ends this Sunday as we unpack Hebrews 13:7-16 in our 9:30 and 10:50 worship services. Hope to see you there.