Saturday, October 22, 2016

serious about learning


Lewis talks about the danger of excitement today in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

And when you read what he says, what he's really talking about is not what we refer to as excitement today, but more what we call distraction. He says that it is difficult during war time to set aside the fact that war is going on and get serious about learning. That the war preoccupies you and distracts you from your studies. But that this is true even when there isn't a war, because other things distract us in those times.

And that's a good lesson to learn. But when we talk about our modern form of excitement, I think that we can apply that to learning as well, but in a positive way. If you've never heard of a maven, I have the pleasure of teaching you what a maven is. There are two definitions... one just means "someone who knows alot about some particular subject." But another definition, the one I like, means "a person who loves to learn new things and then share them with everyone they know."

I'm a maven, so I take particular delight in teaching you what a maven is. I also get excited about learning things. Even in the midst of my dark times, when life seems empty and hard... I look forward to learning. There is a particular excitement in finding out new things about the world that God has made. There is so much fine detail in creation... so much packed into every little aspect. Proverbs says it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to seek them out. God has hidden little treasures throughout the world, and it is our great privilege to find them.

The Jesuits teach that learning is itself an intrinsic good. Not necessarily learning for the purpose of applying it to some kind of work, though that's helpful too. But just learning itself is good for us. May we take it to heart that God delights in our seeking out His treasures of knowledge.

God, thanks for being so amazingly creative that we can spend our entire lives learning about the world You made and never run out of things to learn.