Enter the Journey As A Learner . . . (Pre-Lenten Journey 2016)

Dr. Eric HaskinsLenten Journey 2016, Space SaversLeave a Comment

There Are
365
days till lent

S tarting on Friday, January 29th, and then each of the 10 days (not counting Sunday) leading up to Lent, I will be posting a series of space saving experiences. These will be simple ideas to help you create space in the normal flow of your life. Many will seem familiar and routine but I hope to offer a slightly different perspective that will allow you to grow the relational richness with Christ and the community of faith a Lenten Journey offers.

Pre-Lenten Space Saver

Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent is two days away. Lent is an opportunity for amazing learning and growth - if you're open to it. We often stunt our growth by entering into an enriching opportunity as a "know-it-all." The more we are aware of this the better we can head this off and continue to create space and orientate our heads, hearts and hands to be shaped by Christ. With this in mind I offer this reflection I came across a number of years ago from Leonard Sweet.

Learned vs. Learner

I used to be a learned professor. Now I'm a learner.

When I was learned, life was a quiz show.
Now that I'm a learner, life is a discovery channel.

When I was learned, it was a question of how much I knew.
Now that I'm a learner, it's a question of how much I'm being stretched.

When I was learned, knowledge was everything.
Now that I'm a learner, kindness is everything.

When I was learned, knowledge went to my head.
Now that I'm a learner, knowledge travels the longest foot in the universe–-the foot that separates my head from my heart.

When I was learned, I used to point my finger and pontificate.
Now that I'm a learner, I slap my forehead all the time.

When I was learned, I used to think I was the best.
Now that I'm a learner, I do the best I can.

When I was learned, I was frightened of new ideas.
Now that I'm a learner, I'm just as frightened of old ideas.

When I was learned, I looked to the past: to have confirmed the set of beliefs I already had.
Now that I'm a learner, I look to the future: to grow, be stretched, and remain open to what I don't know.

When I was learned, I knew where I was going.
Now that I'm a learner, I don't know where I'm going----but I know whom I've going with.

When I was learned, I loved to talk.
Now that I'm a learner, I'd prefer to listen, because that's when I'm learning.

When I was learned, I had something to teach everybody.
Now that I'm a learner, everybody has something to teach me.

When I was learned, I was impatient with dumb people.
Now that I'm a learner, I'm grateful when people are patient enough to dumb down to me and care enough to smarten me up.

When I was learned, I thought that all knowledge was a form of power.
Now that I'm a learner, I suspect much knowledge is a form of weakness.

When I was learned, life was knowledge about God.
Now that I'm a learner, life is knowledge of God.

When I was learned, I knew where my nose was headed.
Now that I'm a learner, I go where my nose leads me.

When I was learned, mission meant "go to give."
Now that I'm learned, mission work is becoming pilgrimage: mission means "go to learn."

When I was learned, my life revolved around what other people thought about me.
Now that I'm a learner, my life revolves around what I think about myself and what God thinks about me.

When I was learned, from the high ground of hindsight I instructed the past on where it went wrong.
Now that I'm a learner, the past instructs me about how I can right the future.

When I was learned, the power and mystery were in the big words.
Now that I'm a learner, the power and mystery are in the small, simple words.

When I was learned, I thought that the educational system was so much better than the market, the other main channel for the mediation of cultural capital.
Now that I'm a learner, I realize just how closed and controlling the knowledge industry can be.

When I was learned, I deemed the great threats those made dangerous by strength.
Now that I'm a learner, I deem the great threats those made dangerous by weakness.

When I was learned, I loved to fill out questionnaires.
Now that I'm a learner, questionnaires are an exercise in saying "I Dunno" since I keep checking the "don't know" box. ("Don't know" doesn't mean "don't care").

When I was learned, I imagined myself the church's resident "know-it-all."
Now that I'm a learner, I'm more willing to admit I don't know everything.

What I was learned, I was always trying to speed things up.
Now that I'm a learner, I'm always trying to slow things down, even when I'm speeding up.

When I was learned, I bragged about how our knowledge is an ever deepening ocean.
Now that I'm a learner, I shudder at how our wisdom is an ever-shrinking drop.

When I was learned, I said, "Take it from me."
Now that I'm a learner, I say, "Don't take it from me."

I boast no immaculate perceptions. I see through a glass dimly. I'm still an academic. As a theologian, I have my little bottle of Windex and am cleaning that glass for all it's worth. I'm trying to get rid of as much fog and film as I can. But the best I will ever to is to "know in part." I will never "know it all." God's ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8), and God's thoughts not our thoughts.

There are still some know-it-alls out there. Some people are like Moses. They think they can see the face of God . . . and live. The best we can do is hear God's voice, and in rare moments of mystical and metaphorical ecstasy, gently touch his face.

Receive . . . Reflect . . . . Respond . . .

With a group or on your own take a few moments and share or reflectively journal on which pairings from the list you find . . .
most thought provoking
- troubling
- exposing
- exciting
- provocative
- depressing
- helpful

Lenten Journey 2016

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