Thru A Dirty Window : The Precarious Place Called Learning

Have you ever filled a trash can so full that you had to smoosh down the contents so they wouldn’t burst out before you got the lid back on?

Have you ever jammed your washing machine so full that some of the contents never even got wet, let alone clean?

We spent almost two months in in Colorado this summer. Since we flew to Denver, and only had so much room in our suitcases, we mailed some pillows, blankets, and books ahead. The box we packed was so full that it took almost a ream of tape to hold it shut. We were afraid it might blow open before it arrived. It redefined full.

Bob loves to build a salad. He can stack more lettuce and veggies on his plate than anyone I know – it’s stacked high and with great precision. But I’m telling you, one false move and it could all come tumbling down.

This describes how I feel most of the time now that I’m in school. I begin inputting new information into my aging brain, slowly, methodically, and very carefully. Every week I read, memorize, recite, read, memorize, recite. I hope to hold it all in my brain until I made it past a quiz and it all falls out again. I go to bed with a new set of Greek words held precariously in my memory. I wake up, after dreaming about Greek verb patterns, afraid everything sifted out during REM. I’m relearning how to write a research paper, and bit by bit I’m retaining textbook information for longer than a split-second.

I often feel like I’m balancing a fragile plate on a long thin pole. Can I keep it steady or will it fall and shatter? One minute I feel a little more sure, the next I realize I have so far to go. Though I’m not very sure of myself, I’m amazed by how much I’ve actually learned in a very short amount of time, and conversely how much I’ve forgotten over the course of 30 years. It’s a weird walk of faith.

As a baby Christian I learned a lot about walking with the Lord as a 22 year old university student. As an older believer I’m learning some of the same lessons as a 52 year old seminary student – only with a great deal more appreciation.

I’ll keep stuffing stuff in there and hope it stays, because I really want it to this time.



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