Andrew Harvey said, “The very things we wish to avoid, neglect, and flee from turn out to be the ‘prima materia’ from which all real growth comes.” Sometimes the hardest things that happen to us are the things in life that teach us the most.
A few weeks ago, I was listening to someone talk about the way humans learn. There are those who learn by reading. This group comes to their reality through meanings and words, stories, and metaphors. Others learn by watching; just seeing something done is enough to bring the lesson home for them. And then there are those who come to reality through hands-on experiences. They have to taste and feel life. They learn through living every day–failing, failing again, and sometimes succeeding. There is not a lot of vicarious learning for this group. You might also think of this as the “school of hard knocks.” Sermons, stories, and book learning are more interesting than they are instructional.
In our world, 80 percent of people learn by experience. If that is true, then I guess that most of us (at least 80 percent) can be thankful when we go through life’s experiences, because that is the only way we would ever learn anything! I’ve been asking God to help me see more clearly what He wants me to learn in my everyday experiences. There is such depth in life, but I often feel that I miss some of it. Perhaps it is because I don’t understand exactly what lesson is buried deep in some of my encounters and experiences, or it may be because I’m rushing so fast I completely miss the whispered meanings. Either way, it’s time I learn.
Photo credit: Julie Escobar