“Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.” – Proverbs 2:3-5 (NLT)
More information has been collected in the past three years than had ever been collected since the beginning of time. More than 100,000 scientific journals are published annually, featuring new research from the world’s laboratories. But the distance between the amount of information being generated and our ability to alchemize that information into knowledge and wisdom is growing ever greater.
[p. 122, Summoned to Lead, Leonard Sweet]
We must move from being a learned to a learner.
1. When I was learned, life was a quiz show. Now that I am a learner, life is Discovery Channel.
2. When I was learned, knowledge was everything. Now that I am a learner, kindness is everything.
3. When I was learned, I was frightened of new ideas. Now that I am a learner, old ideas frighten me more.
4. When I was learned, I loved to talk. Now that I am a learner, I’m slow to speak and quick to listen.
5. When I was learned, I always was trying to speed things up. Now that I am a learner, I’m always trying to slow things down, even when I am speeding up.
6. When I was learned, I was impatient with dumb people. Now that I am a learner, I’m grateful when people are patient enough to dumb down to me and care enough to smarten me up.
7. When I was learned, it was a question of how much I knew. Now that I am a learner, it’s a question of how much I’m being stretched.
8. When I was learned, knowledge went to my head. Now that I am a learner, knowledge travels the longest foot in the universe—the foot that separates my head from my heart.
[p. 123, ibid, from a selected number of items about the learner and the learned]
Christ’s followers are called disciples. In Greek, the word for disciple can also be translated as LEARNER. A disciple takes upon himself the attitude of always learning. He is aware that he always needs to empty his cup again and again so that he may be able to contain the things that God is pouring into him.
To learn involves humility. It begins by admitting that what we know is insufficient or that we may not know anything at all. To pour out the things that we already know seems like a waste but gaining insight from the things that we let go is priceless.
Futurist Alvin Toffler: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”