No I’m not thinking about the song by Tom Watts, nor the “Toys-ᴙ-Us” advertisement. I am thinking about arriving at that place we see some leaders attain where a halo has appeared over their heads, and their every word seems imbued with an other worldly wisdom. I don’t want to be that guy!
At 51 I returned to school for my masters degree. I did so because my process of being a “lifelong learner” was starting to feel a bit stale. I was always returning to the same subjects, and reading new material that agreed with things I had learned decades earlier. I wanted freshness in the material I was reading, and in the approach I took while I studying it. After completing my degree with a gpa far above my expectations, I have come to realize I was doing just fine on my own. Sure, it was good to be introduced to new genres and authors but I should have been searching them out myself. At Seminary I encountered nothing new, though I discovered many intellectuals don’t value Scripture as I do. I was encouraged to release my tight grip on my faith in God’s word as absolutely “True” and learn to accept it as generally “true.” The difference between a big “T” and a small “t” truth, is the same difference as between God and god. Many of my instructors read Scripture as pointing to truth, but not necessarily being true. One of my instructors told me “he hoped I would come to learn one day (read: grow up to learn) that faith did not require professing any of the Bible to be historically accurate.” After 30 months of course work, I graduated as one who still retains my complete faith in the “Truth, accuracy, and infallibility” of God’s word. I purpose to never “learn” differently.
So with that phase of my life completed, I have made some decisions about the next 50 or so years.
- I will not grow up so much that I lose my sense wonder about how God does things.
- I will not grow up so much that I begin to believe my faith must be tangible and provable for me to believe.
- And I will not grow up so much that I quit hungering to grow, learn, read, and discover all God has for me to know.
My suggestion is that we all choose to be “lifelong learners” and decide to never be “that guy who seems to know everything.” Or at least never to think we do.