Pastor Norma's Journal of Wisdom


Thoughts on an education…

Someone once asked me how much of the world’s knowledge I knew. I had never thought about it – but upon thinking about it I realized how little I do know of the world’s knowledge. I have not spent a lot of time getting a formal education; but every day of my life is an education in some form or another. If we confine our education to the four walls of a “learning institution” we will miss out on some of the most important lessons we will ever learn. This is not to say that acquiring an education from schools, colleges, and universities is to be looked upon with disdain. We need to avail ourselves of every opportunity to enhance our lives through education from every source available. Reading is the door to knowledge, and knowledge increases our understanding. Knowledge is dangerous because it is just information compiled in our mind. It is no good unless we apply it in our lives. The application of knowledge to our lives is called wisdom. Our education continues day after day, year after year. If you see every day as an opportunity to learn something you will grow and mature in wisdom and understanding.

The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means to an education.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Education and your future…

The education you receive today does not fully equip you for what you will face tomorrow. Each day is a learning experience. The greatest lessons we learn are through living. Experience is truly the best teacher. Head knowledge will help you prepare your taxes etc. But head knowledge doesn’t prepare you for your journey in relationships and facing the problems we face on a day by day basis. You can’t face life like a mathematical equation, it is not that cut and dried! We grow and we grow and we grow, and each level of growth equips us in a greater way to face what lies ahead and we will be able to apply what we’ve learned through the growth process to the issues of life for today. Our world is constantly changing and so must we if we are to keep up. You are never too old to learn. Don’t ever put yourself in a box. Keep exploring your world. I learned the computer when I was almost 60 all be myself through exploring. I’ve been to Australia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, and Romania since I turned 60. Life is exciting and it is an adventure. Each lesson we learn equips us for something we will face later on. Going to China and seeing the bondage and poverty of the people there because of their government prepared me for Romania. Communism is more than a government! It develops a mind-set of poverty and bondage. Communism has fallen in Romania and even though the people have regained their freedom they are learning how to “live” in that freedom.

America’s future walks through the doors of our schools everyday.

— Mary Jean LeTendre

How one learns…

Of course we know we learn from books—but books are the expressions of people. We can certainly learn from their expertise and knowledge and from their experiences. But unless I take the truths I learn and apply them in my life I have not learned them. I have only gained more knowledge. Experience is still the best teacher! God’s work is the real source of knowledge and wisdom and understanding. God created us— made us— and then He gave us the manual to instruct us in the best way and most efficient way to make us fulfill the purpose for which we are created. There is a saying, “when all else fails read the directions”. When we buy anything there are usually instructions that come with it so we will derive the greatest benefit from it for the purpose which it was made for. Of course my Creator would know the best and most perfect way for me to benefit from His wisdom and knowledge! It is through the “manual” He gave us (the Bible) and through my personal relationship with Him. Sitting at His feet and learning from Him. Jesus was the greatest teacher who ever lived— so I guess He’s the best one to learn from.

The two basic processes of education are knowing and valuing.

— Robert J. Havighurst

The importance of lifelong learning…

With each season of our lives come circumstances and events that require more knowledge. We must keep up to date in learning— the world is changing daily; our lives are changing constantly. With these changes come challenges that we need to learn how to face those challenges. Right now it is four months after the planes hit the World Trade Center in New York. That event has brought many changes that affect our lives, and we are learning to live with those changes. In America we have been so free and safe; but September 11th, 2001 changed that, and we have learned many things about terrorism that the rest of the world has dealt with for years, if not generations. The main way it has affected me is that I don’t feel safe; I feel vulnerable. The attack with anthrax has made us aware of chemical warfare and we’ve all had to learn to deal with our vulnerability to an unseen enemy. A month after the WTC attack, I had to fly to New Hampshire to speak at a ladies’ retreat. That was a big learning experience because everything I was familiar with in flying had been changed—security, delays, armed National Guard everywhere, etc. There will be constant changes in your world that will stretch you and cause you to grow and learn. Avail yourself of every opportunity to learn through reading, listening, the internet, friends, your elders, but most of all through God’s Word and those who hear his voice and follow Him.

One of the chief objects of education should be to widen the windows through which we view the world.

— Arnold Glasgow

Learning through experiences…

After awhile you learn the subtle differences between holding a hand and chaining a soul. And you learn that kisses are not contracts and presents are not promises. You begin to accept your defeats and mistakes with your head up and your eyes wide open.

You begin to realize sunshine burns if you get too much and it’s perfectly okay to say “no”.

Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers, you plant your own garden; the reward is not instant, but the gratification is enduring and you have flowers to share with others. You learn that you are a person of value and worth and with God’s held you can be strong. You learn that life is not always fair, but growth is one valuable asset of living your life. You learn and you learn, and with every choice you learn. We live not only our own lives but, whether we know it or not, the life of our time. We want to have “the time of our life” but the life of our time is much more important and valuable. We add to that larger life or we detract from it. We give or withhold, we lead or shrink back. We put ourselves on the line for the truth or we ignore the summons. We meet the great challenge of our age or we retreat to our gardens. It is not bad to tend your garden. In fact it is necessary. You can find wholeness, solace and trust there too. But to tend it and also step forward into history, to step into the life of your age, to step onto history’s stage and seek to take part constructively, to try to make your era better is actually the utmost way to live your life.


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