Saturday, August 6, 2011

We are here for an education - Edward Deming - Feast of the Transfiguration

First off, my apologies for the lack of postings. I have moved to a new venue from Georgetown, Texas to a new position as Priest in Charge at St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Lees Summit, MO and have had learning curves to conquer in technology before getting back on line and on track.  Sorry and again welcome! 

We are here for an education!
I believe this with all of my heart!  I am a firm believer that each day is a classroom set to teach us something and there is a special someone somewhere that is has the key element of knowledge that is going to be the teacher for the day.  That teacher may be a child filled with wonder and innocence, an elderly senior with wisdom and experience, a knowledgeable professor, or the chance meeting of a stranger.  We learn everyday, whether we know it or not!

I am constantly learning about myself, the world around me, or new acquaintances that I meet through the course of the days events.  I pick up bits of information that is usable when I click on the computer and connect to the internet.  I expand my horizons when I open and read a book.  I deepen my emotional well when I learn and sing or play a new song!  I learn more about the God I love and serve when I am interacting with people or sitting quietly by myself.  I am always learning.

That process also means that I am constantly changing, expanding, growing, learning, living!  To not do so would mean death!  As long as we understand that we were not created to stay dormant, stagnant, still, unchanging, we can meet and face the changes and chances that come our way on a moments notice and fully appreciate the lesson learned and experienced, as well as add it to the bag of our experiences and accumulated wisdom.  We become better people if we choose wisely and learn enthusiastically from the day's events and encounters!

I met a young women/mother who is engaged in supporting a life-long friend's journey with terminal cancer.  She in fact is one of a few who are left to care and nurture this person since his parents and family are no longer here.  The illness also leads to a narrow and few circle of friends that are known, willing and available to offer aid and comfort.  This young lady, in her late 30's is one of few to rise to the challenges of daily setbacks and suffering that such diseases bring.  "Will there always be changes?" was the question to me last night through tear-filled eyes of sadness.  "Yes, there will always be changes, some that set us on course for the next day's lessons, not always happy, not always positive, but always preparing us for the next day's lesson.  Mid life is a hard set of courses like being in the middle of high school or college.  You aren't new anymore and you are no way closer to the finish.  The lessons seem laborious, tedious, or not even connected to whom or where we are wanting to go, but still the same, the lessons are needed and important, not maybe for now, but for later when needed and extremely important."  The words seemed to help for the moment as our conversation ended - for now.

I learned not so long ago that we learn differently as adults from how we learned as children.  As children and adolescents, we are given lessons, books, assignments, classes, tests papers to write and the sort with the codicil, "You'll need this when you grow up!"  As adults we undergo the same vigorous track for learning or projects/tasks of continual education on whatever sort of topic pricks our fancy or curiosity and strike out with the intent of "becoming proficient in what we need or want to learn"  All I know is that each is extremely important in life, and with that learning comes personal and contextual change - ALWAYS.  You can change and not grow, but if you grow, you will change! 

The lessons learned by Peter, James and John on that Mount of the Transfiguration, watching Jesus be transformed, chat with Moses and Elijah, and hear the booming voice of God proclaim, "This is my beloved son, of whom I am well pleased, LISTEN TO HIM!"  had to be a learning moment of all time for them.  Even for Jesus, the ability to communicate and learn from the two major prophets of the Hebrew Faith was transformative.  It had to have been a moment that soothed Our Lord's pain, and suffering when He was on the cross later on in Jerusalem.  It had to have been this conveyed lesson from Moses and Elijah that prepared him of the news of an impending crucifixion, but also the hopeful words of encouragement that resurrection would be the resolution to death and suffering.  A greater lesson was in play and needed to be lived out in daily events of life.  Not all of them happy and positive, but some sadness, loss, sacrifice needed to be played out first before the greater reward of eternal life and presence with a Loving Creator.

We are here for an education!  One day at a time, one event at a time, one personal encounter at a time.  Are we listening, learning, changing, growing, loving and living.  If so, we are experiencing life at its fullest as God had planned in the beginning!  If not, we are missing and wasting the times of our lives!