It’s that time of year again when children – young and old – are heading back to school. Flip open Facebook and one can view picture after picture. Smiling faces, new backpacks and shiny new shoes reveal a sense of new beginnings and possibilities that lie just around the corner. Education is one of the most important things that we can engage in. From the formative years when we learn to read and write, to our adult years when our horizons expand into our chosen careers, to continuing education where we hone our skills and gain new tools for the journey, education is the key. The same is true of our faith journey. Every day we learn and grow as we expand our knowledge, engage in dialogue, explore sacred writings and the words of scholars. All of this helps to shape and form us. With knowledge comes informed decision making and the possibility of a full and rich life.
Knowledge and Understanding through Life’s Lessons
School is certainly one of the places that we gain knowledge and understanding. However, learning, growing and gaining powerful life lessons also happen in other ways. Yesterday, when Tracy came to the office she brought with her a learning narrative that her son, Hayden, had written when he was 15. She had discovered it when cleaning out his room. Hayden has finished high school and college and is now working in his chosen field. She passed it to me to read. WOW!!! I got goosebumps. First of all, for someone, at 15 to be able to put into words these life lessons and to recognize that they are ones that will be the foundation for years to come is amazing. Secondly, it highlighted for me the value of knowledge that comes when we engage in other things that are not tied to book learning.
With Hayden’s permission I would like to share with you part of his reflection.
“I have discovered that hockey is more than just a game where you skate around with knives on your feet, on the hardest surface in the world, chasing a little rubber thing with a weapon in your hand while monsters try to plaster you to the boards. Hockey is knowledge. The lessons that come with playing such an amazing sport are unbelievable. At 13 I was learning things that some people do not learn in their lifetime, I learned how to win and lose; how to control my emotions; and how to trust people. Most of all, I learned what it meant to be on a team. Without my team there would be no hockey; no provincial championship. When you play hockey all you do is learn.”
As we embark upon a new year in school, in church, in community may we be open to the possibilities that come with knowledge and understanding. May we embrace what life has to offer and may we grow in wisdom and in truth.
© 2018 Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury. All rights reserved.