Life-Long Learning: Learn, Grow, Become
Life-long learners master the challenge of stepping outside their comfort zones. As they are shaped by God, they learn, grow and become different people.
Life-Long Learning – Continue to Grow
Summer holidays are almost over. Soon schools will be in session. I wander the aisles of school supplies so prevalent at this time of year. I do not have any school age children to buy them for and even the majority of my grandchildren are either out of school or in some type of post-secondary education settings. However, I still love to see all of the fun supplies. I can hardly pass up the chance for a new package of coloured gel pens, fine tip markers or even a huge box of pencil crayons.
These school supplies bring back fond memories of going to school. I love to learn and have for as long as I can remember. Going to school back to school each September was a highlight for me. Of course I enjoyed some subjects more than others, especially in the older grades. I worked hard on my least favourite subjects like Math and Science so I could pass the classes with good enough grades to maintain an honor roll average. Reading, writing and history could occupy my thoughts, imagination and time better than anything else.
Crayons Felt Important
A brand new package of crayons felt important and after several years in school a pack of newly sharpened pencil crayons and being able to colour maps added to the creativity I longed for. By grade four the teachers assigned us social studies projects. It meant looking up information in a book and drawing my own diagrams and maps since it was long before the technology of today.
I loved learning about places far away, the cultures and history of countries I found on the big map at the front of the classroom. I dreamed about visiting places I had only read about whether as far away as Europe or Japan or as close as British Columbia and the Maritimes. What wondrous possibilities for exploration education dangled in front of me.
I had teachers that stand out in my memory because of how much they challenged me to be the best I could be. They taught beyond the curriculum for those students willing to take up the challenge. I soaked up their teaching. I loved spending time in the library and devoured information from the World Book Encyclopedia, the old fashioned Google search, my parents bought by the time I had three years of school under my belt.
The Love of Life-Long Learning
This love of learning has stayed with me. Reading, writing and history still intrigues me. I can spend hours lost in another world, learning about new ideas or being entertained by a well written novel. It took me longer to delve back into writing when I finished my formal education with my Bachelor of Education. Life became busy. Other creative endeavors and reading filled the few hours I could carve from a busy schedule of work and family. In the last decade, life has allowed me to once again explore writing. But each new thing I tried added to making me who I am today and what I know how to do. Life offered its own unique education and learning environment, even the tough stuff.
Learning should never be relegated to going back to school, classroom settings or formal training courses. I believe we learn from every experience, from the people who intersect our lives and from our times of studying on our own. Learning constantly changes how it looks and should never stop.
Learning New Skills
We can learn new skills, facts, and ways of accomplishing our tasks. We can learn to step out of our comfort zones. We all learn in a different manner but it is important to keep on learning however works best for you because it is good for personal growth and mental health. By learning throughout our lives we set an example for others and for the children.
Yes learning is an important part of our lives. Everything we do, read, watch and take classes in adds to our knowledge base and gives us choices on how to use our abilities and skills. Yet learning from God’s Word is the most important thing we can ever do. Psalm 119:33-37 (NIV) gives us words to pray, asking God for his wisdom. “Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statues and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.”
Growing in Our Knowledge
When we learn, whether in school, from classes or from experience, we grow in our knowledge and personal lives. When we learn from God’s Word and allow him to teach us, we grow in our relationship with him and become the person he desires us to be.
James 1:22 (NIV) reminds us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
As we step out of our comfort zones to become life-long learners, let’s remember to study God’s Word and learn to listen to the voice of the Master Teacher. Then allow him to help us grow and become faithful servants, doing what he teaches us to do.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
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