It’s that time of year when school starts back up and, with it, football and all the other fall sports. We anticipate this time of year with its freshness and excitement, as well as with its challenges and difficulties. Why? Well, I think in part because it's a time for learning. The obvious learning that needs to take place academically is of first concern (or should be) for student-athletes, but there is also a great amount of learning that goes on in the film room, the practice field, and the skull sessions needed for playing the game. For West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, last season was a time of just such a challenge. He was engulfed in learning a brand new offense—and Dana Holgorsen’s system was a challenge. But Geno went to school on it, and though the 2011 season was marked by ups and downs, the Mountaineers’ 70-33 victory over Clemson showed that the lessons had been well-learned. And now, in year two, West Virginia fans expect even more as the Mountaineer offense continues to learn this explosive and potent system. What makes learning take place? Essentially the student must be willing to be teachable. Without that genuine desire to grow and learn, nothing happens. No progress is made. This applies equally and, in fact, more importantly in our walk with Christ as believers. Without a teachable spirit, we will never benefit from the lessons of life. We will never grow in our understanding of the wisdom of the Bible. We will never really reflect Christ in a way that honors Him. Paul spoke of this to Timothy when he wrote:

You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:14-17 NASB).

This is a teachable heart. Look at what Timothy would miss if he weren't open to going to school on the Scriptures: teaching, reproof, correction, and training, all for the purpose of being equipped to live for and serve God effectively! May we never forget that none of us has arrived or is fully formed. None of us is everything we ought to be as followers of Christ. We all need to go to school on the heart and wisdom of the Master so that we might be continually conformed to His likeness.   Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain