If I think about the lessons I’ve learned so far in my life, the really big ones haven’t been learned in a typical classroom. That’s not to say I haven’t learned many things from my teachers, I have. But there’s more to life than a classroom.
Lessons have been learned in my family’s yard. I learned how to mow a straight line by looking at a tree at the end of the row. I learned the difference between a weed and a vegetable in our garden. I learned that perseverance matters as we picked knee-high weeds. I learned that sometimes the work has to be done more than once when we trimmed trees one summer and then again the next spring after snow came when it was meant to be spring.
Lessons have been learned in living rooms. I learned about Jesus through family devotions with all of us seated on the living room couch. I learned that it paid to be on time for Bible studies while in college – first come first seat on the couch, the rest of us claimed a spot on the floor. But sitting on the floor is great fun too. Community is a great teacher. I learned about life as my spiritual mentor spoke truth into my life as we hugged cups of tea in cold hands. These God lessons were forming and shaping my character and my heart.
Lessons have been learned in cathedrals. My cathedral journal is full of moments where God has reminded my heart of His truth. Sometimes the cathedral has been busy and full of tourists. Other times, it’s been quiet and hushed. But each time, I’ve needed to be reminded about the love my God has for me. The care and concern of His heart that will not let me go, the ways He’s shaping and molding me because He is far from finished the work He is doing in me.
The learning is far from over. I’m no different from the students who enter my room for the first time each fall. I haven’t arrived at the destination yet. God is still forming my character, making me into the person He intends me to be. And I take great comfort in that. I have much to learn and my God has much to teach me. May I be more formed into His likeness!