It happened again this week. There have been 28 of them since Mrs. Sweetie became a Mrs. There have been 15 of them since I was personally involved in one. We have been sending our offspring off to college for the past 6. And this one was the first one that my favorite daughter will experience from the other side. The First Day of a new school year.
I guess with a daughter teaching, a son in college, a son-in-law in grad school and a wife as a school counselor, there is no way for the first day of school to be just another day for me. I may not build my schedule around the school calendar as much as I did at one time in my life, but it is definitely relevant.
I also have to admit that I still get a little excited about the beginning of a new school year. And it is not just because the people I love most are directly involved. I think part of it is the reality that I love learning. When I finished my Doctor of Ministry degree 15 years ago, it was likely the end of my pursuit of education that results in diplomas and degrees, but I am still a bit of a training junkie. I love developing new tools and competencies that help me do my job better and help me empower others to unlock their potential and vision. I am infected by a love of books and that contagion has spread to my family. I remember a quote from a few years back from Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He said that the person who does not read is no better off than the person who cannot read. As a reader, I am encouraged by that. As a writer, I am hoping to encourage others about that.
As I approach my 50th birthday in a few more months, I am aware that there are quite a few things that I know something about. There are some things that I know a lot about. There is a small list of things about which I might even be considered competent. But there is SO MUCH I have yet to learn. Some of those things I can learn from books and conferences and seminars. Some of them I will learn from observing others and asking questions. Some of them I will learn from making mistakes (yes, that is still one of my most common methodologies). Some of them are way bigger than me or anyone I know. So how will I learn what I need to in those areas?
There are two statements in the Bible, both spoken by Jesus, which I think about when these questions come up. One is found in John 14:25-26 - "These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
The second is found in Matthew 11:28-30 - "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that have been afforded me to attend and graduate from a number of institutions of higher learning. I am grateful for those who write, teach, inspire, and train. But for LEARNING LIFE there is no better source than the Author of our lives. Our lives matter to Him and he is eager to teach us new things if we are open to it.
So sharpen your pencils. What are you going to learn today?