Learning New Stuff

At Grace Fellowship we I have undertaken the task of putting sermons up on the web. After a little training, I spent a day and a half trying to get it right, editing the messages, setting up the web page, uploading files, etc. I’m getting way too old for this! Still, I got it done, so I’m pretty psyched about the achievement. I’ll be even more excited when I can train someone else to do it!

We are born to be learners. Before we emerge into the world, our brains are wired to receive inputs, process them, and make some kind of sense of the world around us. Indeed we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). And this learning process continues as we mature. Our mental processes get a bit more sophisticated. We begin to make connections. We grasp more complex concepts. It’s all quite miraculous.

For whatever reasons, there are some people at some point in life who opt out of learning. Other than sitcoms and the nightly news, their brains simply go into hibernation mode. They cease to try knew things. Books lose out to the Simpsons or American Idol. Their curiosity is confined to what is happening to Brad and Angelina or how their favorite team looks this year.

We were born to learn … and there is so much to be learned. It can be frustrating – like my foray into getting sermons on the internet – but it is so rewarding. It keeps our mind engaged and may help our brains stay healthier longer. So, let me offer a few tips on getting back into a mindset of learning –

1. Start small. Begin reading a news magazine or switch from the sitcom to the History channel every once in a while.
2. Broaden your horizons. Dip your toe into unknown waters. Try reading an article on astronomy. Go to the library and check out a book on the bestseller list. Volunteer to help a teacher take kids on a field trip. Go to a museum. Look up a different country on the internet. Talk to a senior citizen about their experiences. Talk to a child about what they’re learning at school. The more varied the stimulation, the better!
3. Take an online course. There are all kinds. One of my favorite sites to recommend is www.christiancourses.com.
4. Plan a vacation – even if you don’t go. Check out the attractions and points of interest in Madrid or Paris or Beijing.
5. Join a civic organization, book club or some other group. You’ll rub shoulders with some new people and will be guaranteed to learn new things.
6. Find out what types of plants are growing in your own yard. And, yes, you have to go beyond trees, bushes and grass!
7. Begin to read through the Bible in a year.

As you can see, we could create an endless list of ways to learn new stuff. Will it all be helpful? No! But it will keep your mind sharp and may even make you a more interesting person to be around.

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