Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lent Day 12: Lifelong learning

Not every student group is equal. Not every teen or young adult "needs to know" in the classroom. The educational machine of the USA drives post-high school students to college, when perhaps more of them would be happier and more successful in vocational school or apprenticing for a trade.

I had research books and papers spread across the table last night, sitting in the back of the church classroom where W as teaching. During breaks, students walked over to chat. We talked about the reason they were in class, what they had learned so far, and what they planned for the future.

I enjoyed my great "window" seat yesterday, with its view into the way God has made us. Unique, special, beloved.

Watching the students, I was struck between the difference in the scope of their questions and the queries of older university learners. At break time, they shot Nerf arrows at each other and chased each other around the room. W's music videos, bringing culture and information together, were just background noise to the fun they were having.

Not everyone has to be brain-smart (though some of these students are). Many of us have craftsman's hands, servant hearts, and a sense of fun that may enrich the world more than more books written by scholars ever could.

Each of us learns throughout life, observing, serving, and practicing what God brings our way. A church that values all the gifts of the Body of Christ makes everyone feel welcome and useful to the Kingdom. Ideally, it also provides opportunities for all kinds of intelligence - interpersonal, handyman, hospitality, and academic learning.

Jesus astonished the academics of his day with his wisdom and knowledge... when he was a young teen and later, as an adult. He hung out with tradespeople, made close friends with fishermen, and debated with the scholars of his day. He knew that common experiences like sheep herding, farming, and saving money (lost coin) made it easy to tell God's story.

Oh that we would be as wise when sharing Good News, no matter what last certificate of learning is stashed in our file.

No comments:

Post a Comment