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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » My Journey » Week 30: The Life of a Teacher

Week 30: The Life of a Teacher

When I was told that I would be meeting with Rickie Moore, a  professor of the Old Testament at Lee, I thought that I would be sitting at a desk all day and sorting papers. However, as is usually the case, my day ended up turning out completely different. Far from sorting papers, I enjoyed a great talk with a man who knows a good deal about serving God, teaching, and as much about the Bible as a room full of theologians.

Rickie MooreI first met Dr. Moore at around eleven thirty. He was dressed the same as all of the other college professors that I’ve seen, with glasses and grayish hair. But the way he talked was different from anything I would have expected. Maybe you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, so I’ll explain. Have you ever been around somebody who, when they start talking, seem like they know enough about that subject to go on for hours without stopping? That’s what it’s like being around Dr. Moore. It just seems like he has a bunch of information stored up in his head.

I learned that my assumption was correct while we chatted over lunch. We ate at the student union (he got Chick-Fil-A, I got a six-inch sub), and I learned a little bit about Dr. Moore during the talk we had. He first met my parents (before they got married) when he was teaching at the seminary, and has carried a good relationship with both of them ever since. He graduated from Vanderbilt in 1976, majoring in Old Testament history, and has taught at least one class somewhere every semester since the fall of 1982. He started out at the seminary, and taught there for twenty-five consecutive years. But then in 2006, he had a feeling that something big was about to change. He even told his wife about it, it was such a strong feeling. Well, that very night, that something big did indeed happen. It was about 5:30 in the evening, the sky was dark, and it was raining. Dr. Moore had to teach a class, and his daughter Hannah was in it, so they were trying not to be late and rushing around all over the place. Suddenly, they heard a crack. A huge lightning bolt had hit the ground. When they arrived at their house, it was surrounded by firemen and in flames.

It wasn’t until later that they found out the whole story, but what had happened was this. The lightning struck a large tree that was sitting in the front of their yard. It acted like a natural lightning rod, channeling the bolt into the ground. Unfortunately, the electrical lines to the house ran underground, and at one point crossed over one of the tree’s roots. The lightning bolt simply traveled down the tree, out the root, and into the line. And if that isn’t bad enough, when the electrical line ran under his daughter Hannah’s room, it met with the gas line. The bolt jumped from one to the other, and it acted like a monster blow torch. The house was burnt so bad, they had to have it razed and then rebuilt from ground level up.

But instead of cursing and screaming, Dr. Moore believes that God let that accident happen to kind of uproot and unseat him a little. Because right afterward, Rickie switched from teaching at the seminary, to teaching at Lee. He said that he would have never thought that he would leave the seminary, it was actually a good choice in several ways, mainly in the fact that he was allowed to teach a class that his daughters (and some of his nieces and nephews) enrolled in. And speaking of good choices, I got the privilege of asking Dr. Moore what some of his best have been in life (as well as some of his worst).

He said that his best decisions narrow down to his biggest decisions, probably because those are the ones a person remembers the most. He said that accepting Jesus (although it was really the other way around, he stated), marrying his wife, and renewing his covenant with his parents were his best choices. But, he said, every good decision that he made also had a bad decision to go with it. So his worst decisions in life were drifting away from God, slowly estranging himself from his parents, and letting books and science become more important to him than his wife.

Rickie Moore-Teacher and DadThe last thing I asked Dr. Moore was whether teaching was a huge part of his life or not (it seemed like it was, but I wanted to make sure). He laughed and said definitely, it is. Not only has he done it for most of his life, but it is a very important thing to learn how to do. But even though he spends most of his time at Lee teaching other kids, his most important teaching time comes with his own. You see, the other students are learning from many different teachers, and he controls only a small part of their time. But with his own children, he owns half of their time when they are at home, which means that he has to be on top of his game all day.

Me with RickieAbout this time, dad showed up and took me home. He had some fond memories of his own of Dr. Moore, and he shared a few of them with me. Dr. Moore knows a ton about the Bible, and I was privileged that he could take a few hours and share some of it with me. And when I get old enough to go to college, if I go to Lee, maybe he will have the opportunity to teach me as well.

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