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Invitation to Learning

The university experience is an invitation to learning.

Has it ever struck you that learning requires a kind of death to self? We learn only when we acknowledge that we do not know and when we submit to a discipline. We have to abandon our comfort zone and step into the unknown. Forgive the use of a four-letter word in this column, but learning demands WORK.

Perhaps our biggest problem with the invitation to learning is that we act as if small things do not matter. We put off learning of small matters, and focus on the big things in life. But the big things are somewhere out there, in the future. The net effect is that we delay accepting the invitation to learning. As in the French play, we are waiting for Godot, and Godot never comes. By waiting for "important" things, by watching for truly big challenges, we fall into the trap of attending in our daily routine only to that which is merely urgent. The invitation to learn is left unanswered. And life passes us by.

Small things matter. "The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones." (Luke 16:10) Let's consider how to profit from this insight in three areas:
  1. Learning is in the small things.
  2. Life is in the small things.
  3. The Holy Spirit is in the small things.

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