In the previous blog I addressed the fact that prayer must be an essential part of any plan and especially a spiritual plan. Today’s thought takes us to the “L” in the acrostic which stands for “Learn”.
“Some people gotta learn the hard way…” Ever heard that? Maybe you lived that? However, you don’t always have to learn that way. There are better and more efficient ways to learn than through experience. Someone once said:
“Experience is expensive and a wise person buys it from The Salvation Army”.
There is no doubt in my mind that if 2013 is to be different and better than 2012, we will all have to be better learners! I would admonish you to learn from anyone and everyone! Make it your ambition to learn as much as you can from others and from your experiences. God doesn’t waste anything. So why should you? But if you are not careful you will brush over or ignore valuable lessons available to you and end up wasting time, resources and most of life!
Paul tells us in Romans 15:4 that the scripture was written for people like you and me. God has given us His word, not just as a rule book but as a journal, a huge resource of people’s biographies which contain invaluable lessons and a treasure trove of wisdom. Don’t go into 2013 without making a commitment to spending more time in God’s Word. If you want things to really be different, spending time in God’s Word is a surefire way to enlighten yourself on God’s plans for you and the world.
No one in his right mind would just venture out into the wilderness without some kind of plan, if not for success then at least survival. If you want to truly have a different year, making a plan for success is one of your greatest tools at your disposal. You can significantly increase your chances of success by reading and learning. Make it a goal to read more this year. Learn from others and listen to others. Dr. Seuss said:
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
Here are a few things I would suggest about reading and learning in 2013:
1) Learn Something New.
There’s much to be said about how our brains get gridlocked in a rut because we never do anything new! We are creatures of habit. However, when we venture out and try something completely and entirely new and different not only does our brains “grow” but we feel more alive! Give yourself a goal of reading, studying and learning a new hobby, language, or sport.
2)Learn From People Not Like You.
Now I’m really pushing you out of your comfort zone! But this is one great way to truly learn. Surround yourself with people who have different interests, at least so it may seem. Spend time with people from another culture. Go to a different kind of church and see how they do things. Eat some ethnic food. You may find that spending time with them that you are actually not all that different.
3)Learn From Different Teachers.
Everyone learns in different ways. Some people are abstract thinkers while others are concrete thinkers. Some people are artistic while others pragmatic. The point is learn in a new way…not just from new people. Use technology differently. Learn hands on. Learn through a webinar. Learn from your kid. Learn from studying nature. God employs all things and all people to speak of His glory and power and we are remiss if we think He uses only one medium.
Abigal Adams once said:
“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
This is so true. If we are to learn at all, we must not only pray for God to give us pliable and teachable hearts but we must diligently apply ourselves. Learning is work. Proverbs 22:17 says:
“Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge…”
Applying our heart means that we have to make the effort. If you want to learn more in 2013 you will have to work for it and discipline yourself to not stop all year long!
Learning also requires wisdom. Learning is not just about knowledge, it’s about how to use that knowledge. It’s being able to apply what you know to any given situation or circumstance. As you grow this year in learning and study, continue to pray for wisdom. James 1:5 clearly states that we can ask God for wisdom and He will give it to us. God wants us to learn and grow in 2013 so pray for God’s blessing and learn all you can!