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Monday, November 30, 2015

Learning: Studying vs. Hands-on

I was thinking the other day about ways to learn and how there are 'two kinds' of learning. There's the book learning ... where we get excited about something and just read and read and read. For instance, I'm getting goats next spring, Lord willing [and health permitting], and I've been reading all I can about them. Even still, I KNOW things will be different when I'm actually raising them. While it's good to be as prepared as possible, I know reading and studying will never give me a full picture of actually raising goats. The fuller picture will come when the goats are in my care and I have some real, hands-on experience with them. But even then the picture will not be 100% complete because I will only have one kind of goat, only have a few, etc... There are other variables too, but I'm sure you get the idea.
Not yet being a goat owner and still having only the 'book knowledge' of goats, can you imagine what a seasoned goat owner would think if I tried to correct them?! What if, when I go to visit the farm where I'm getting my goats, I told them they were doing "xyz" wrong? These people have been in business many years, breeding, showing, and selling the same kind of goats ... what do I have to offer THEM?! I'd do well to keep my mouth shut unless it's to ask questions and learn!

When I was younger I took an accelerated college degree for accounting (basically getting a two year degree in 1 1/2 years). I ate, slept and breathed accounting (well, I had to work the graveyard shift and Denny's AND be a single mom too ... but accounting was on my mind pretty much all the time). With all the classes and studying, I STILL did not have full knowledge of what it was to be an accountant. Then I took my internship and got hired where I interned - a major construction company in Omaha. My knowledge and experience in accounting was growing and growing all the time. By the time I quit being an accountant 5 years later, my boss said my experience far surpassed that of a person with a four year degree. Not only did I have the 'book knowledge' but, more importantly, I had the 'hands-on' knowledge that only comes through trial and error. But even still, there are all kinds of accountants!! And all kinds of businesses!! I was a general accountant and a job-cost accountant for a construction company. The only thing I ever did with payroll was cut the checks my boss got ready. What would a seasoned payroll accountant think if I criticized them for the way they were doing things? Or what would an accountant in a totally different industry think if I tried to fix her problems with my construction-only knowledge?
Which reminds me of when I had a few temporary jobs after the construction job. One was in a small office on a tree farm. VERY DIFFERENT but I was still an accountant. Another was in a large electrical contractor office. VERY DIFFERENT but I was still an accountant. I had to learn whole new ways of doing things in each job, but my title was the same: Accountant.

I believe this is the same with our walks with the Lord. We all have a cross to carry. It is ours and no one else's. Where some only have 'book knowledge', others have 'hands-on knowledge', yet sadly, many of the 'book-knowledge-only-folks' criticize and condemn the way the 'hands-on-knowledge-folks' do things. Let's be careful that we do not fall into this camp!! Instead of criticizing someone who is not carrying their cross the way we think they should be carrying it, let's come up along side of them and try to help bear their load; be an encouragement and a blessing instead of a stumbling block.

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

As I [Christ] have loved you, so must you love one another.

The second greatest commandment is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands ...

whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [dwell on these things.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your thoughts. This was so very well said!


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