Surprise! How to Look at Teaching Anything in Life
(Published on East Willow Place October 6, 2020)
Have you ever noticed how sometimes you think you know something, but then you have to explain it or teach it to someone else, and as you do, that’s when you realize that it is suddenly clear to you for truly the first time?
For me, it’s like a shot of excitement and even adrenaline as I experience the joy of learning. My kids sometimes just stare at me as I get enthusiastic and start waving my arms around, coming up with all kinds of (sometimes kooky) metaphors and analogies to get them as excited as I am.
(I guess I’m making it clear that I am a total nerd. Often.)
The act of teaching it to someone else helped me learn! I’ve read that this is a common experience.
I think this is why God often allows our life to hold other people who need to learn something from us. Whether it’s our children, our younger siblings, our colleagues, or our clients, He’s graciously giving us the opportunity to learn something well by needing to teach it to others.
In my life, I am constantly humbled by how little I know – but because I am constantly parenting my kids, I am (usually) thrilled to find I have the opportunity to learn things alongside my kids each day!
For me I find these learning moments often come during our family devotional or Scripture-reading times, or when I’m expounding on some theological truth to my children – and I’m overcome with tears because an aspect of God’s goodness or beauty suddenly became clarified to me.
These are moments of God’s grace. This experience is like a little love-note from my Father, who never gives up on me and who knows exactly what I need, every single day.
I’ve decided, in fact, that pretty much every time my family has a devotional or reads the Bible together, it seems that God is more interested in changing my heart and helping me learn something from His Word than about me making sure my children understand each theological nuance.
And maybe that’s what’s important.
Teaching may really be about learning.
I’m going to be in a better place mentally, emotionally, and spiritually if I’m staying humble and listening to MY Father. I appear to teach better – no matter what sphere of influence – when I’m also an eager and listening student.
So what are the places in your life where you have been given the role of a teacher? And have you found, too, that often those are the areas where you can be startled by discovering your own learning growth, even as you teach?
I challenge you to ask God for a humble, learning heart. Give Him the permission to surprise you with a fresh discovery and brilliant illumination in a place in life or a topic you already thought you knew with your eyes closed.
The revelations come like a sting of joy. And it’s worth every ounce of the humble courage it takes to receive them with open hands and gratitude.
I’m so excited for us both as we continue to grow and learn and delight in fresh discoveries!
What’s something you learned recently that was surprising and unexpected in a good way?
Send me your response and let me know!
– Cheering you on in this!