Wednesday, May 23, 2007

learning beyond the textbooks

I have to admit that I am addicted to learnin'

I want to expand my horizons and actually be able to follow a large chunk of intellectual discussion when I eavesdrop in on it.  I want to remember my days in school when I could debate and still be friends afterward.  I want to recall the feeling I got when I finished all the hours of research and turned in a solid paper, ready to devour the next lot of novels or take apart the next poem.  My problem is that I lack skill in the goal setting area, and my best laid plans usually get, well, laid aside.  I had fully intended to redeem my grade school years by memorizing my times tables right alongside my boys.  Grade four had me booted out of Enrichment because I didn't memorize them that year, and grade five caught me with the tables crammed onto all the crevaces of my hands, in pen (also not allowed), and had the opposite effect I was hoping for ... not an instant "A" but a trip to the Principal.  At least I have dreams ...

But even in that there is posed a challenge I have wrestled with.

Erwin McManus says some of our dreams are meant to be just that - dreams, and I for one believe him.  I have never fully embraced the thought that you can be whatever it is you want to be.  It just doesn't ring true for me.  Dreams are useful, however, and help pull us forward into the future.  They help us define our deepest longings and cause us to rely on God for direction and answers.  I remember, with much sadness, one of the greatest friends my husband and I ever had.  He lives in N Z now and we have no contact whatsoever, but when he lived near us for a short time, he challenged my thinking on so many levels.  He had issues, like we all do, but the difference with him was that he was so ready for the answers that he was unafraid of completely baring his soul to find them.  He really wanted help.  I miss that level of honesty in the homeschool and church community ... I have never found it in anyone since him.  I have tried to be that honest in many different circumstances and discovered, sadly, that people really don't seem to want to "know" as much as they ask for.

But I want to know things

I want to hear the critiques about my art.  I want to listen to the criticisms regarding my latest song.  I want to be told that the curriculum I wrote was helpful or in vain.  I want to know, like Simon Cowell told one contestant  "look ... do you want to hear the truth or not?  OK.  That was absolutely horrible.  Now you know that singing is not for you ... so you can move on"

what is so hard about honesty?  I would much rather know that my latest dream was meant to be just that than to invest myself in forcing it into reality.

I want to be and do what Father has bent me to be and do.  Therein lies freedom.

No comments: