Why I Know so Little

As a young scholar I said trite things like, “We learned about Calvinism today,” and “I studied relativity last week”.

It turns out that Calvin’s voluminous Institutes inspired commentaries, opinions, and reactions to fill hundreds of thousands of papers, books and ministries.  It also seems that papers and experiments pursuing all Einstein laid out amount to untold billions of dollars.   Trillions if you count weapons.

I barely caught an introduction.

It helps, though, if someone reduces it for me, so I pass a short quiz or pay for a short course and skip the quiz.  In a world influenced by academia: I “learned it”.

We memorize Kubler Ross’ stages and think we know death.  We say amazing silliness like, “I got married last night!”  No, you took a first, possibly easiest step in a journey of a thousand miles and you don’t “know” marriage until you come to the end of yourself and your failings and she somehow, amazingly decides to travel on with you.

“I bought a house last week.”  So, you paid cash?

“We were in New York last month.  I love New York!”  Yes, you love the tiniest sliver, and even those who love her a lifetime cannot live a thousandth of the City.

In seminary, I was thrilled to “learn” the word for “know” is the same as a husband and wife enjoying their most intimate times together that they share with none others.  You scratch the surface of that knowing in a decade or so.

I need humility, and out of that a bent to life long learning: in this life and the next.  I know that.

The Route Versus Routine

Another semester begins.  It is fall, so academia calls it a new year. 

I have 80 students in two classes, 70 and 11.  I am scrambling to learn names and faces.  Then in my online class I have almost half of it filled with serving military members around the world. 

I teach to give back.  I owe this country and God quite a lot, so I teach to give back. 

That is a cover.  I really teach because I have not grown weary of seeing a face light up with hope.  I relish eyes sparkling for the first time in a class as much as when I was in my twenties and they were my eyes. 

I smile to see someone move from a slouch to upright posture, to actually leaning in because the exchange in class has more than pricked his interest. 

Over the next few weeks these students will learn about themselves, about courage, about others, about how thinking sharpens your edge in business.  They will start to see that Creativity is a lifelong work of consistently overcoming never ending challenges — and will still choose to embark on that route. 

I have a few of them messaging and texting now so that they can ask questions about businesses and ideas for businesses.  I am behind in responding. 

This Route is not as easy as I might have chosen.  Jill and I have visited the brink of financial collapse and ruin more times than I care to count — and we are fiscally very conservative. 

So Faith whispers that the Route is demanding, scary, exciting, and beautiful in its turns and twists and that the Route is far, far better than the Routine or its abbreviated form: the Rut. 

Just a thought as I catch my breath, and “I have miles to go before I sleep.”   And THAT is part of the fun — creative people are dear friends, even if they like Frost and a host of other Creative souls have finished their Routes here on this plane of existence.