Learning along the way…

Written by on September 9, 2011

“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience.”

Archibald Macleish

We can live so unreflectively nowadays, always hoping to survive or  “get by” with what we already know. We hope what we know will work for the journey ahead. So we shy away from the questions that shake our securities, duck the people who confront our certainties, and avoid the situations and challenges that demand more of us than we feel we are. In such cases, we are most often motivated by a desire to minimize any discomfort or confusion, whatever the cost. There is a tremendous cost to living a life that seeks to just “get by.” It is a failure of understanding and courage.  And it is a refusal to learn. It is a bit reminiscent of Jesus’ rebuke to his disciples who are struggling with the notions of his death and betrayal at the hands of the religious leaders. Among other things Jesus warns them, “those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25). Saving their lives required some radical unlearning as well as learning. It meant losing their lives as they knew them. It required trusting and learning Jesus’ way. Jesus’ way in the world continues to frustrate those of us who want to simply “get by” with what we already know and trust. We must lose this non-learning way of life.  All presumption and pretense must be left at the door. Or as Jesus put it on more than once occasion, “Let anyone with ears to hear, listen!” (Matthew 13:43) • Are there any areas of your life where you are sensing personal resistance to something new? Spend some time over the next few days and prayerfully reflect upon where the Spirit may be inviting you to learn or re-learn or un-learn…


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