The Learning Curve is something we’ve really got to get ourselves on!
It’s a curve taking us on a journey, a journey which has momentum as it travels on its upward trajectory…And when the learning is focused on learning ‘how’ and ‘why’ rather than simply ‘what’ – then we are in for a real ride and a half!
However, there is a tangible sadness when for many adults life has ceased to include any learning whatsoever. Everything is known, with no new horizons, no new possibilities. When life becomes like this – it is as though life is being lived in a cemetery, and for many people this kind of existence takes root at a remarkably young age.
Perhaps this is why the responsibilities for organising and putting in place a school curriculum which stretches the mind and spirit is really key in nurturing a love of learning. You see, when learning is only ever entirely functional it has a limited scope and is usually tedious to the extreme (especially when it’s like this year after year after)!
During this month we keep the festival of Pentecost, when we celebrate the gift of God’s Holy Spirit on all creation. We are told in the prophecy of Joel that God’s Spirit is poured out on all flesh. We have been drenched in it…it is given over and over again without limitation – on the young and the old, on the men and the women, on the infirm and the healthy. And why is it given… well it’s given to teach us, to lead us, to stretch us into being new people – people blessed and happy.
The Spirit is given into our hearts, the very centre of who we are. It is given so we may find a re-birthing of who we are with new horizons. A little bit like being born again. It is the learning curve – when we just know we are being stretched into a new existence. The Spirit begins its work from the inside – shaping our thinking, emotions and perspectives. As we allow it to be at work in us, as we say yes to its operation then we often experience a peacefulness and energy settling on us…from the inside out.
But perhaps the overwhelming experience is that of learning – not the passing of exams, reaching the pass mark, but rather the sense that this thing called life is more adventure than simply going through the motions. In doing this we are introduced into faith and the possibilities this opens for us (for the faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains).
We say ‘yes’to it’s operation by praying with our hearts, by learning again to look, to gaze and watch without judgment and by practicing gratitude day in day out. The Spirit has been given, given to everyone and every thing, in every moment, it is here and as we begin to say ‘yes’ we place our lives – no matter how tentative this may be – on the learning curve to beat them all!