What is the first step in learning? Do you know?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

What is the first step in learning? Does one just decide to become a student or is there more? This post will answer that.

One of my favorite proverbs (attributed to Buddha and others and, yes, as a Christian I can learn from non-Christians as well) states “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” The concept appears in the Bible in many places, just not explicitly.

You see, God can only lead us when we are ready to be led. I wish it weren’t so. I wish He would just step-in and force me some days. He doesn’t though. He hasn’t throughout the history of the world since that fateful day in the garde, He hasn’t.

I’m sitting here today trying to figure out how to share with you all the ways God has been taking the details of my life, from what time I get up in the morning, the structuring of my days, to the tiniest detail of when I eat breakfast and shaping it all together into a whole new life.

God has the most amazing ways of bringing it all together when it needs to be. There is an old proverb that states, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I believe a Christian could state it this way, “Then the student is ready, God appears.”

Trust me, I feel the effects of all that shaping as well! I have never experienced the process of the Potter molding my particular lump of clay. I should clarify that to say I have never “felt” it happening in real-time.

Like most of you, I can look back and see God’s hand in life’s events, after they’ve happened. But never in the present tense.

(I sure hope you’re following this.)

The student has to be willing to learn

When this Pandemic started I had already started writing a book. But it was like just there, on the back burner. And it wasn’t until I made the conscious decision to finish it and publish it that I became the student.

And it was when I became the student, that things started changing at warp speed.

Finding the “space” to learn

Honestly, it was a bunch of tiny decisions I made every day and didn’t even know I needed to make them. They just kind of buzzed around my head like bees about to sting until I dealt with them.

I tell you the number of thoughts that have been swirling around in my head has been so numerous, I just wanted to tell them to stop. But I knew the onslaught of ideas and suggestions were from God so I knew I would figure it out.

God was giving me lots of freedom in picking which ideas would work the best. I believe God always leads us in a wide space if we are following Him closely, meaning giving us lots of options. God talks about wide spaces HERE. It’s only when we are distant from Him, that our road is narrow. (This is not to take away from all the verses in the Bible that talk about narrow roads. Those are referring to the road to salvation. )


The student has to focus in order to learn

I mean, haven’t you been there yourself? There seems to be so many different ways you could go with something.

I think that’s why my word for the year is FOCUS. I think about it now and know that God gave me that word because He knew there was going to be a lot coming my way. So each time a new idea floated around, I would remember that word and stop and just think.

There is so much in scripture that addresses the concept of STOP. “Stop complaining, you Israelites. “Moses, stop looking for excuses.” “David, stop what you are doing with Bethsheba.”

For now, I think this post is just meant to encourage you if you are in that place of, not confusion, more like complexity, when there is so much you need to change to accomplish God’s call on your life, that you can trust it will all work out.

The student has to clear the path to learn

Remind yourself that God is in the business, of clearing your muddled path. But we do the actual heavy lifting. We remove the branches that have fallen on the path. And it doesn’t happen all at once.

We remove a branch and see if that clears the path. If it doesn’t, there are more branches we need to remove. We keep clearing the path until we see the way it’s headed. Once we clear the path, we develop plans to keep the path clear, those are the new habits and activities we have to put in place to make sure this particular path doesn’t get overrun again.

In a nutshell

First we become the student and we become the student when we are open to learning.

Next, we have to have clear focus when things seem muddled.

Finally, we have to clear our path of the obstacles that get in the way.

God bless and learn something new today.

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For Christmas, I asked for his book