A New Way to Spell “Learn”?

We’ve all heard the positive sound bites: reach for the clouds; dream big; touch the stars, everything is possible if you try.

Not true. However, learning to separate the possible from the impossible is hard. I can’t learn to sing. It’s impossible for me. I’ve heard all the jokes about folks who can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Seriously? I can’t even find the tune to get it into the bucket.

God created each one of us with a plan and a purpose and gave each of us unique talents. With God everything really is possible—if it coincides with His plan for us, and the gifts He gave us. God didn’t create me to sing—He created me to write.

We like to believe that we are in control of our lives. Not true. There are things we simply cannot control regardless of how much we want to. Ultimately, God is in control. That is a hard thing to learn.

Learning is hard. The toddler falls repeatedly before learning to walk. When a baby bird is pushed out of the nest and forced to fly—it is hard.

Our rough collie Savannah is a consummate bee hunter. She has learned to chase—not catch bees. It was hard. It was painful. She pounces at bees and watches them fly. Then she leaps into the air in an attempt to fly herself. Possible for bees—impossible for her. God did not create rough collies to fly—not even intelligent ones.

“Hard and learn. Perhaps they should be spelled the same way.

“And let our people also learn to maintain good works.” Titus 3:14. Maintaining good works takes work. A Biblical example of hard learning.

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School Daze

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Four years old and burning with envy—although I couldn’t name the emotion at the time—to see the older kids walking to school every day while I had to stay home. So I followed them.

Clueless, I ended up in a line in a hallway with a teacher walking along the line asking each child for milk money. Until she came to me. She stopped in confusion and asked me who I was and what I was doing there. I thought that was a rather silly question from a teacher at what was obviously a school. “I’m going to school.” I got sent home for another year.

We had moved by the next year. I was excited to catch the big yellow bus outside my house and ride to school on the first day. On the second day—I hid from the bus. If I had known about math—I’d still be hiding.

Much of what I “learned” in school was misinformation. My first grade teacher criticized my coloring. “Tree trunks are brown,” she said, “the sky is blue.” She had never been to the Texas Hill Country where tree trunks are grey. She had never been to Scotland where the sky is seldom blue.

We were taught that North is straight ahead, East is right and West is left. We marked it on maps. So when someone gives directions and says, “turn North on the next street,” it’s confusing. If North is straight ahead, why turn?

Then math. We were taught counting: “one-two-three-four-five.” I once had to pay back my employer for the extra hour I had marked on my timecard. My hours were from nine to noon. Count yourself: 9-10-11-12. I was getting paid for four hours. Everyone else was getting paid for three.

What to learn out of all the “facts” the world presents is confusing. Separating “truth” is like holding a raw egg in your hand to keep the yoke while the white runs through your fingers.

Thankfully, there is one infallible Book, one Everlasting Teacher—and we all have access. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:3.

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