Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The Fast Track To Learning

Have you worked it out yet?
There is no fast track!

The closest thing to a fast track is not being afraid of failure. To learn is to try something out. To try is to invite failure but not give into its threat of potential shame, and instead see that it's a gift of learning and growth.

When you learn to walk, you don’t sit there for days working out how other people do it, watching other toddlers fall over, and thinking “I am not falling down! When I get up there on 2 feet I’m not falling down, I’m staying upright – like those tall people do!” It doesn’t work like that does it? The toddler takes several attempts to get up, then immediately falls back down on their bum. Again, again and again they try until they take their first few steps and the parents go wild with excitement and pride. They still fall down though!

Oh that we would apply those principles to adult life and discipleship. When I started playing rugby I played fly-half, no.10, which required you to kick the rugby ball. My first efforts weren’t great but I got the hang of it, with many many mistakes along the way, as my team mates could tell you! Only by trying to kick the rugby ball do you fully appreciate its weird shape and the pitfalls of your foot slightly sliding off one way (a hook) or the other (a slice).

I am really not interested in anyone who can talk a good game of discipleship. I really don’t care if anyone can tell me the Greek root of a word in the New Testament, if it doesn’t make a direct difference in their life and the people around them. Anyone can get great teaching or quote great teaching, but if they’re not living it then it’s just theory. Teaching needs to become learning and that requires activity. Anyone, especially in the internet age, can get information about anything, but I’m interested in people who are willing to walk the walk, and perhaps more importantly TRYING to walk the walk, with a few mistakes along the way.

So wear those mistakes like badges of honour, chalk them up to experience and realise how much learning you’ve got. And all of that takes time. It’s not a fast track – but it’s THE track to learning.