From my experience, effective learning starts from the point where I am. I do not need to move, I am fine where I am. I do not have to change, I can learn from this position. I do not need to adopt a new way of thinking. The learning starts as and where I am in the moment at hand.
I know if I learn I will move, change, and adopt a new way of thinking. I know, but I also find myself treasured, understood, and accepted by my teacher. My starting point is the common lesson that all great teaching shares. I am currently standing. I will stand after this teaching phase is complete. If I am going to use what I am taught, I will need to understand context, use, and purpose. If I begin practicing in the context of where I am standing; ah, I have a chance of using it when I am done.
There are several other points that are folded into the teaching process. First, there are many questions. Nothing is dumb, off limits, or out of bounds. When “the eunuch said, 'tell me, who is the prophet talking about: himself or some other?'” (Acts 8.34) He genuinely wanted to know. I know there were reference books with the answer. I know he could have studied on his own and gotten the answer. He may have. Whatever the reason, he teacher assumed the best and responded with respect and clarity.
Second, learning is a process that never ends. Moments of teaching merely mark a new phase or different subject. While they are crucial, they are not the goal or the end. Understanding the context is crucial – for student and teacher.
Third, letting go is part of the process. Learning relationships have an intensity that last for a time. The goal of letting the student step into the real world mandates that the teacher release the student. Another opportunity can and will come.
Today is a learning opportunity. God will provide the teachers. It is now up to me.
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