And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. –1 John 3:23
I love this time of the year. As you read this, I’ll be finished with exams and ready to turn in grades on Friday. As I write it, I have another week to go. Regardless, I love this time of year. Soon, these students will be going away, and I’ll never have to look at them again.
But I also hate this time of year. No, I’m not going to get all sentimental on you. While I do actually like a good number of my students, by the end of the term, I’m ready to see the backs of them, at least for a while. The reason I hate this time of the semester is because of the silly questions. Here’s one, from an email two days ago:
I just make sure that if i have done annotated bibliography, which means I don’t need to do the final assignment. Is it right?
No, it’s not right. The online course says that isn’t right. The course overview sheet I asked everyone to print out back in January says that isn’t right. My weekly (or more often) emails say that isn’t right! What more do I have to do to get through to these people?
If it were only one silly question, I’d be okay with it, but there are many. Granted, it could be worse. I could have to really work for a living, but it does make me hate–okay, maybe dread–this time of year.
My online course is really simple. Start at the beginning and follow the directions. Keep hitting “next” until you reach the point that says you’re done. That’s it. But these students just insist on making it complicated. Or they refuse to read the instructions and try to find their way alone.
Happily, our relationship with Christ is just as simple. We have to do two things:
- Believe in Jesus.
- Love each other.
That’s really easy. I don’t have to figure out which way to turn to face Mecca. I don’t have to discover which foods are kosher. I needn’t give exceptional respect to cattle. There’s no particular language that must be spoken or pilgrimage that must be made. Christianity is simple, which is good, since humans are notoriously bad at following directions.