An Inspirational Story: Athena Schools Dr. Knowitoll

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

In the cramped confines of an airplane, fate decided to bring together two contrasting individuals: a little old lady named Athena and a college professor named Dr. Knowitoll. Athena, with her wrinkled smile and worn-out clothes, cherished Jesus above all else, while Dr. Knowitoll, with his impeccable credentials and pompous demeanor, believed he was the god of His life and had life all figured out.

As they settled into their seats, Dr. Knowitoll couldn’t resist expressing his views on religion. “You know,” he began, leaning towards Athena, “I’ve dedicated my entire life to academia. I possess knowledge that far surpasses any belief in a higher power. I don’t need Jesus to navigate this world.”

Athena, with a twinkle in her eyes, calmly replied, “Oh, my dear professor, how marvelous! You must be the first person to master every discipline, including the art of walking on water, right?” 

The surrounding passengers stifled their laughter as Dr. Knowitoll’s face turned crimson. But he wasn’t one to back down. “I don’t have time for fairy tales and miracles,” he huffed. “Science and reason guide my path.”

Athena, undeterred, raised an eyebrow and said, “Science, you say? Well, did science teach you how to knit a sweater that warms not only your body but your soul as well? Or did reason reveal the recipe for your grandmother’s comforting chicken soup, which has the power to bring comfort and warmth to the body and soul?”

The passengers erupted in laughter, catching the attention of the flight attendants. They, too, were captivated by Athena’s wit and Dr. Knowitoll’s deflated ego.

Dr. Knowitoll, now visibly flustered, attempted one final rebuttal. “I rely on logic, not faith,” he declared. “There’s no need for some intangible deity to make sense of the world.”

Athena’s eyes gleamed with mischief. “Ah, logic,” she mused. “Tell me, professor, can your logic explain why an ocean sunset repeatedly fills our hearts with breathtaking beauty and peace or why the laughter of an infant makes us break out laughing and brings us immeasurable joy? Can logic answer why we feel a sense of purpose when we lend a helping hand or find solace in the embrace of a loved one?”

The passengers erupted into applause, their admiration for Athena and her deep intuitiveness. Even Dr. Knowitoll, momentarily humbled, sat in silence.

As the plane touched down, the unlikely duo bid each other farewell. Athena, with a mischievous grin, leaned towards Dr. Knowitoll and whispered, “You know, professor, even a genius like you might find it worth exploring the mysteries of the Bible that lie beyond everyday textbooks filled with everchanging science and flawed opinions.”

And with that, Athena collected her belongings and walked away, leaving Dr. Knowitoll to ponder the wisdom of an old lady who, despite not thinking she was very smart, possessed a depth and joy that transcended intellectual prowess.

For those passengers that were able to hear and catch the conversation, their hearts were warmed by Athena’s depth of understanding about life. They couldn’t help but contemplate the irony of a college professor being schooled by a little old lady who knew that the true measure of wisdom was not solely found in one’s intellect.

Just before Athena stood to leave the plane, she quickly looked up and in her heart prayed, “Lord, I hope I wasn’t hard or prideful with this man! Please use this encounter to open the eyes of his understanding and help him search the depth of his soul. Help him realize there is so much more to know and learn if he’ll open his heart to you. Help him to know the depth of your love through Jesus!” And with that, Athena stood to leave the plane, noticing those around her waiting and watching with glowing smiles that served as their applause to her!

Ephesians 1:17 (NIV) “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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