November 1, 2010

One Step Behind

Category: Education,Family :: Permalink

Many men live one step behind life’s events.  They try to to learn to work after they get a job.  They seek a class for husbands after they are struggling in their marriage.  They read about fatherhood after their children rebel.  A good education prepares a young man for his future situations before they come.

Education and going to school are not necessarily the same thing.  You may attend the best college, graduate with highest honors, and still remain uneducated.  Even if you have a degree, you are uneducated if you are not ready for the coming events in your life.  The American educational system expects each student to spend about sixteen years becoming “educated” to get a successful job.  Earning money and job security are often the goals.  When students get their college degrees they are told, and often think, they are educated.  They may be fit for a job; however, if they remain unfit for the majority of life’s situations they remain uneducated.  Life is much more than having a job. — Bob Schultz, Boyhood and Beyond, 66.

Posted by John Barach @ 1:10 pm | Discuss (2)

2 Responses to “One Step Behind”

  1. Mark Sumpter Says:

    My sons went to college, and their dad got—and is getting—the education.

    Education, learning, training, understanding, and so on are things that have always, always come slow for me. Slow in the sense about my preparedness, readiness and the practice regarding 1) first, to get exposure to the notion, idea and practice, 2) second, begin to warm up to possibilitiies for newness, new insights, new applications and so on, 3) third, seeing connections from reading, listening, assessing, pondering, reflecting, getting correction, etc. 4) fourth, having someone else, yet again, tell me, show me, explain it to me, practice it before me—having winsome teachers and well-grounded models makes learning contagious, 5) fifth, I start to see theory and practice in a connected way and the first-steps—-the first-steps of—-some ramifications of what risks and rewards are being held out, that are afforded for growth, challenge, newness, accountability, etc., and then, I think I can add a 6) sixth, to be disciplined to stick with it—I need to keep learning that my personal default is give up and give in too easily about learning. It’s an art, craft, practice, discipline, trade, etc. Learning takes time, effort and work.

    John, you don’t know how many times I’ve had to say about theology and pastoral practice, “Well, I probably should best compartmentalize and move on…. maybe in glory this one will get taken care of…”

    I feel like I’m about 17 or 18 years old and just now starting to learn how to learn.

    I’m reading the book PUNIC WARS AND CULTURAL WARS (by Ben House); I feel like Ben is sitting in front of me teaching me how to be a learner. He’s a humble writer, he’s helping me to learn how to walk as a learner.

  2. John Barach Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Mark. It makes me miss having coffee with you.

    I think all of us, not just you, are in much the same process, learning some things long after we “should” have and regretting not having learned them earlier. I remember when I was in college and came across a copy of Mary Pride’s Big Book of Home Learning, which consisted of four volumes of her reviews of various homeschooling products. At that point in the late ’80s, I didn’t know anyone who was homeschooling. I went to a government school myself. And when I read her reviews and saw what was available, I felt strongly that I had been cheated by the education I got. There was so much more that I could have learned, if only….

    My seminary experience was, by and large, profitable. Now, though, as I look back at it, I wonder if it was as profitable as it could have been. One professor was particularly helpful, but I had some classes that were disorganized, some that didn’t advance much farther than the textbooks we had to read (why not just read them, then?), and some that were shallow. My second seminary education happened after I graduated. I’m still learning things and thinking “If only I had known that back earlier in my ministry.” And in some cases: “If only I had paid attention to that when I was in seminary.”

    I’ll have to pick up a copy of that book by Ben House. He’s an acquaintance of mine and I have a collection of his poetry, but I don’t have Punic Wars yet.

Leave a Reply