All of my life I have been considered a “good student.” I have always cared about my grades, making sure I had my assignments read and my schoolwork turned in on time. I have always been on either the “A” honor roll or the “B” honor roll (currently maintaining a 4.0 GPA at Liberty University!). But I have never really liked the learning process particularly the homework, which seemed only like busywork. I know I took my education for granted in my adolescence.
Through high school, I still found a success in my scholastic work, though I hated maths and sciences. Now I am a senior in college, hopefully graduating in December of this year, and a remarkable thought occurred to me today: I truly enjoy learning, particularly when it comes to subjects such as Scripture, my religion studies, history (American: Civil War), historical biographies of people, church history, political science, sociology, psychology, philosophy and other social sciences. It may have taken me a while but I have come to truly value education and am grateful that I am fortunate enough to have received a good one, while I hope to continue receiving one through December and into seminary. In our culture, too often we take for granted getting a solid foundation for our future and the resources that assist that process. I remember complaining much about school in my middle school and high school years. I also recall hearing many of my classmates complaining about school as well. I grew, and am still growing to enjoy learning. I hope to be a learner all of my life. A pastor-friend reminds me that “a call to preach is a call to prepare, whether through formal education or informal.” I reflect on that sometimes and cannot help but to agree with that statement. If I am fortunate enough to go to seminary or if I read and study informally, I have to keep on learning either way. I want to be able to relate and communicate to people regarding all sorts of important matters whether they range from international politics to the Bible to the study of the human psyche to gang crime in the U.S. Well-rounded may an appropriate term. I do want to emphasize that being well-rounded intellectually does not mean to necessarily embrace all of the knowledge obtained as truth. I want to know about these things but that doesn’t mean that I must believe all I hear. I must keep Christ and the Bible at the forefront and not allow any of my studies to consume me to the point where I start to shift away from biblical truth. Anyway, learning keeps the mind sharp and fresh. I hope to keep such a desire to gather information. I hope you have a desire to learn as well, in school or out of school, and if you do not, I hope that a desire is produced in you and you will learn to enjoy learning too. Having knowledge of a wide range of subjects allows a person to communicate and potentially foster a relationship with another person. (The lacking of adequate verbal communication skills and well developed social skills in seemingly every age group under 50 are another subject for another day). There are instances where I was able to use something I have learned in a passing conversation with a person and ably transitioned to the gospel. I truly enjoy learning for myself, for communicating with others and for the glory of Christ. May we be lifelong learners, and, at the same time, commit ourselves to doing these things for the glory of God.