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.