How much time do you have left on this planet?
Do you ever stop to think about that? Well, if you do, stop it! It accomplishes absolutely nothing for you to spend time wondering how much time you have left. Instead, think about what you will do with the time you have left.
In my last post, I mentioned that this month marks 40 years for me in some kind of “church” related work. Do you think I’ve seen some changes in the world and in the church (and in how the church relates to the world) over the past 4 decades?
I’ve decided that, over the next few posts, I’m going to share some of the most important lessons I have learned over the past 40 years of working in a church context.
“Church work” is my context, but I’m convinced that these lessons are important and valuable in any context. So, don’t check out on me here if your context is different.
I’d like to give you a preview of the lessons I’ll be sharing. I’d like to, but I can’t. Yet. Not because it’s a secret, but because I haven’t clearly identified them yet. Just this morning, I asked myself, “Self, what are the most important lessons you have learned in 40 years?” My self answered, “That is a good question. I’ll have to get back to you on that.”
Maybe lesson number one should be that it is ok to talk to yourself. Or maybe not.
But, here’s the first thing that came to mind, so I’m starting with this one: Never, ever, stop learning.
The goal is not to know everything about everything. The goal is not to know everything there is to know about anything. The goal is to know something today that I didn’t know yesterday.
Today's goal is to know something I didn't know yesterday. Click To Tweet
But, it is not learning simply for learning’s sake. It is learning for living’s sake. Here are some questions:
- What did I learn today that helps me to live, work, and even play more purposefully?
- What did I learn today that helps me lift other people up?
- What did I learn today that helps me meaningfully contribute to my community?
- What did I learn today that helps me love God and people more than I do?
- What did I learn today that helps me unlearn the things I’ve been wrong about?
Wait a minute! Let’s see that one more time. What did I learn today that helps me unlearn the things I’ve been wrong about?
What did I learn today that helps me unlearn the things I’ve been wrong about? Click To Tweet
Yes, I have been wrong before. And sometimes, at the time, I was absolutely convinced I was right. Sometimes I had bad intel. Sometimes I let my prejudices cloud my vision. Sometimes I just did the best I had with the knowledge I had, but further learning showed me that I was wrong.
Ignorance is not anything to be ashamed of unless we refuse to learn. Our lives matter to God. There is so much more of that to learn than what any of us know right now.
Ignorance is not anything to be ashamed of unless we refuse to learn. Click To Tweet
Let’s make sure we don’t stop.