Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world. (John 7:4)
IN MY FRESHMAN COMPOSITION COURSES, I teach students about rhetoric. They study the relationship between author, audience, and topic, and how to use rhetorical appeals. Students learn that the key to writing a strong argumentative paper is Kairos, or timing. To help them understand this concept, I ask them when is the better time to ask their dad for the car keys—while he is walking in the door after a long day at work, or after dinner when his belly is full and his feet are up? Timing is everything in written communication as well. Students have to be aware of the culture into which they are writing if their message is to be received.
Aristotle may have taught the concepts of rhetoric to the world, but Jesus lived them out. His brothers, in their skepticism of His power, urged Jesus to go public with His works as soon as possible to garner a following. But Jesus knew His purpose and He knew the time was not yet right. His message was radical and would not be received; it would, in fact, lead to His death. Jesus was determined to follow this path, which would ultimately result in His resurrection and our salvation, but not until He had achieved His full purpose—to feed the hungry and heal the sick and to preach the good news.
Ask yourself, “Am I doing God’s will in His time or mine?”
Heather Gemmen Wilson is the author of the Global Warning Series, a fiction series for preteens, and she inspires young minds as a professor of creative writing.
© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.