Walking iN faith

The entire debate team was staring.  The thrill of victory or the agony of defeat was resting in his hands…well, mouth actually, but you get the idea.

“The topic, sir, is “Youth in Asia.”  You have 2 minutes to compile your speech. Begin.”  Two minutes later he performed flawlessly.  He presented a strong challenge to the youth of American to work at being as focused as our Asian counterparts.  He suggested ways that the youth of Asia were being slighted in their desires and chosen fields of education.  He discussed the youth in Asia as though he had studied that very thing – as if he knew that this would be the topic that he was to extemporaneously discuss.

The judges politely listened – allowing him to complete his speech.  When he was done, graciously, the head judge responded, “That, was an exemplary speech Mr Urban, about youth in Asia.  However, the topic we were asking for was “Euthanasia.”  However, due to your all around complete answer, we will accept it.”

The “N” in our acronym is for knowledge. (Hey -I said a tool to help us remember, not that it was a doctoral thesis.)   😉

We must purpose in our hearts to honor the Lord with our brains.  Too many times I have met Christians who are content to be thoughtless.  Now, I want to pause here – I am not talking about having the ability to discuss every move the Dow is making or knowing what the S&P 500 did yesterday.  I’m not talking about knowing which companies have applied to the FDA for drug approval.  I’m not talking about having a mind filled with a gazillion little details of all of business, science and every other school of learning.  I am talking about a mind that is active and sharp.

When my friend thought the judges said youth in Asia, because his mind was agile, he was able to think through many different dynamics of the lives of the Asian youths and compare them to that of American youths.  He presented a strong and exceptional speech.  Would I be able to be so fast on my feet?

When we content ourselves to struggle on with no further expansion of our minds, we are not honoring the Lord with our minds.  Please understand that if you wanted to keep your mind sharp, you would need do nothing more than soak and study the Word of God.  That alone would allow us to remain keen of mind.  I find that doing that requires a great deal of my time and energy.  I delight in learning more of the Word, but that is not the only way to keep my mind sharp and readied, as I don’t have sufficient time to fully devote myself to that depth of study for this season.

So, what can we do, ESPECIALLY as homeschooling moms, to keep our minds sharp?  I would say that learning along with our children is one of the first ways.  Read, read and read some more. Write, write and write some more.  Blog!  Needing to put words on the screen that make sense to someone other than my 16 mo old requires me to think.

I would even encourage you to train your children, while you train yourself, to think creatively.  I recently heard someone challenge his audience to think in terms of lists.  He said that when we think of lists of 10 or 12 preferably goofy things, we can come up with the first 4 or 5 things.  After that we need to resort to creative thinking in order to complete the list.  He issued the challenge that if we do this on a regular basis, that our minds will learn to think with more agility.

I like that – being able to think with agility.  I can come up with dorky lists in my head all day long.  🙂   I don’t even need to have sufficient sleep in order to do that.  (“What 10 things go out the window when I don’t get enough sleep?”  1) My patience.  2) My memory. Hmmm, maybe I should work on that a bit more.  What about Name 10 things that can be found in the purse of someone with teenagers, middles and toddlers?  That ought to be a fun list.)

More than even just having an agile mind, I would say we need to have minds that think with truth.  We need to learn to think with a Biblical worldview.  There are too many places in my life that I think I’m thinking Biblically, but when challenged to go deeper, I find that isn’t necessarily the case.  I must tell you, we’re getting ready to take a course called, “Tools for Thinking”  I can hardly wait.  I expect to have my brain cells kicked royally from taking the course.  Dr. Marlene McMillan is the teacher, and having spent some time talking to her this past weekend, I can tell you, without question that my gray matter is going to be black and blue before she’s done with it!!

What other ideas do you have for keeping your mind learning and fresh, for offering it fresh fodder to chew on, for teaching yourself to think deeply and richly and Biblically?  I believe that choosing to be a life long learner and continuing to grow in knowledge is a key part of our walking IN FAITH. What do you think?  😉

5 Responses to “Walking iN faith”
  1. Margie says:

    I don’t know if you have read my posts on Guerrilla Learning (see Feb 1st and April 12th. posts at my blog) but I am reminded of this one nugget of wisdom that I gleaned from that book “~Real education is fundamentally about independent thinking and creativity, not about vocational training or competition. True education includes gaining familiarity with the products and processes — the stories — of powerfully creative people of the past so that we can join the game. ” Isn’t that what we gain when we dive into the word? “familiarity with the stories of powerfully cretive people of the past so we can join the game.”

    I am realizing that I must make a concious effort to be a life long learner, it doesn’t just happen. One way that I am challenged is that we use the Ambleside Online Curriculum. I don’t have everything laid out for me with nicely scripted discussion notes or quiz answers. I have to read the material so that I know when the girls are right on with their narrations and when they are off track or weak.

    A friend just introduced me to study guides from Progeny Press. I can’t wait until I have a bit of extra cash to invest in some of these for books we are scheduled to read. If you haven’t see these guides check them out: http://www.progenypress.com/samplelessons.html
    In each of the guides I have looked at so far there is a section where the student is given scripture to read and apply to the book they are reading. It is an awesome way to encourage our young readers to think Biblically.

    Ok, I have gone on long enough for now 🙂

  2. Javadawn says:

    Oooh, Margie – you just feel free to go on, any time!
    🙂 I haven’t read ANYTHING but what the Lord has laid before me here – I will eagerly get over and read what you’ve posted.

    I am also going to be on a mission to find the book you’re referencing!!!

  3. Holly says:

    Great stuff, Dawn! 🙂

    You know, I was thinking about this last night. And for me – underlying even the expansion of the brain and ability to learn – was good health. Back when I made NO effort toward good health (because I had NO idea of the importance) I COULDN’T think. I felt so poorly and lethargic and fuzz brained. That was one of my main symptoms…I knew I was capable of thinking, I had been a good student…but I couldn’t THINK! That took getting into better health – thyroid/adrenals, i believe – as well as putting healthy fuel into my body in order for the brain to work!

    Once those things happened, I was amazed at the increased ability to learn! (Maybe not remember yet…I’ve still got seven kids that steal brain cells…)

    Love to you –

  4. javadawn says:

    Shhh!! You’ll give away my “H” 😀

  5. Holly says:

    Ohhhhh. Okay. 🙂

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