Learning Curves: My Experience, Socrates, and ESM Week

I’m posting this very late on Tuesday night. I began another article to go here, but chose to hold it off.  I’m in the “sigh mode,” preferring to reflect on a number of issues and ideas – personal, political, and social – not ready to share them.  However, I do have a perspective to share with you now.  Thursday’s post will probably appear later in the day also.

The reason? My husband is arriving home tomorrow night after being gone for more than three weeks on a mission trip in Florida.  I need to prepare a pleasant welcome.  Also, he has become my administrative partner in Journey North Character, helping me manage the site, so our school’s web master doesn’t have to be bogged down with keeping up with this blog!  My husband’s absence is why we haven’t had pictures posted with the articles for a few weeks.  I could get a few pictures, but couldn’t get them to wrap around the text, so I decided to wait until he’s home to help me. I have some other administrative questions also.  This blog presents a learning curve for me.

When are we not in a learning curve? Life is school. Life is learning. “An unexamined life is not worth living,” said Socrates at the end of his life under circumstances far different and more pressured than ours. (He said this when he was on trial for his life.) Anyway, a reflective and examined life means that a full and rich life develops from intentional growth in response to learning through experience, becoming better for it.  Romans 5:3 – 5 show us that experience is essential to building character and living a hope-filled, loving life.

Learning curves. We never know what is around the corner, but by thoughtfully moving forward, we take risks that make life worth it.  I think we’d do better with life if we stopped assuming that our risks should not cost us (or that there really shouldn’t be a risk in taking a risk) – that failure should not occur, that we should always end up on the collecting end of a risk, because we love the Lord and try to obey Him.   If we faced and accepted the failure or disappointment side of risk, we’d be less side-swiped by the surprises of life. We’d be less paralyzed and more flexible. We’d learn more. (I’ve learned this through experience. Through failure.)

Learning curves. Last week was ESM week for our high schoolers, and they went on many different trips and had many experiences that presented learning curves for them. As they are now home and back in regular school, let us pray that their reflections upon their experiences will produce character and character will produce hope. You know, you don’t have to learn wisdom from experience. It involves measured thought and choice.

Experience [perseverance] produces character

and character produces hope.

from Romans 5: 3

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