Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Learning & Worship: Beyond Physical Walls

That's a pleased look on his face.  Monday morning was kindergarten registration for my oldest son.

Wyatt skipped happily up the walk alongside this apprehensive but prepared mother.  While I have continued to feel burdened over making the right choices for his future, even sickeningly overwhelmed at my uncertainty at times, he is at least confident that finally, his time to be a big boy has arrived.

The biggest surprise that added even more bounce in his always light step was when he read the hand painted sign over the door directly down the hall from the welcome desk.  "Mommy!  Look!  They have a library!"  In a household where reading books is prized over most any other activity, this was the equivalent of finding an extra pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. 

Ask Wyatt, and he'll tell you he's been waiting "forever" to go to school, or at least since he turned four.  Ask Amelia and Emerson, and they'll tell you they're on that forever waiting list, too.  I've tried to make them understand that they have been attending school with me as their teacher, but they still don't believe me.  In their eyes, school is the brick and mortar structure they long to visit each time we pass by.

This mental block is one I continue to personally strive to overcome and one I am seeking to remove from my children's heads, too.

"School" and "learning" are not bound by walls.  To be a lifelong learner in search of wisdom, a person must get past these man-made restrictions on who is to learn and where learning is to take place.

The same is true of the words "church" and "worship."  These cannot be bound by walls, either.  Leaving worship and learning confined at a certain street address leaves too much of life untouched, unexposed to truth, wisdom, and knowledge.

For true, lifelong learning, for true, intimate worship--both must occur outside the physical structures labelled "school" and "church" and be woven into the very fabric of daily living.

Structure does have its place, but learning and worship must be both structured and spontaneous, just as precious and worthwhile if they happen in a corner grocery store as if they happen in a million dollar building.

If we can convince our generation and the next to tear down these mental walls that mark the beginning and end of learning each "school  year," the beginning and end of worship each Lord's day--then maybe we can begin living the truth as awe-struck seekers, as it was meant to be lived--fluid, never ending, encompassing all.

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