Learning has been given a bad rep lately. Book learning, university and college educations are being considered extravagances for the rich and idle. Those who attend such institutions are considered “snobs.” Yet never have we needed the spiritual practice of learning more.
The proverbs of Solomon, King David’s son, from Israel:
Their purpose is to teach wisdom and discipline,
to help one understand wise sayings.
They provide insightful instruction,
which is righteous, just, and full of integrity.
They make the naive mature,
the young knowledgeable and discreet.
The wise hear them and grow in wisdom;
those with understanding gain guidance.
They help one understand proverbs and difficult sayings,
the words of the wise, and their puzzles.
Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:1-7 CEB
Learning can be a spiritual discipline. Discovering new information, facts and understandings can open our souls to new things about our spiritual life and about God.
We practice being receptive and aware when we learn. We practice changing and challenging our own thinking and traditions when we learn. We engage with others when we learn. We learn not to judge but to identify our core beliefs.
Get wisdom; get understanding.
Don’t forget and don’t turn away from my words.
Don’t abandon her, and she will guard you.
Love her, and she will protect you. Proverbs 4:5-6 CEB
During this time of going back to school, let us remember how learning can open up a completely new world of understanding to us not just in the physical world but in our spiritual lives as well.
Dear Lord, as this new school year begins for so many students, ready them to learn, by making sure they start out with a good night’s rest and a hearty breakfast. Prepare them to learn as a spiritual practice that will help them to grow closer to you, to experience you in a way that is personal and intimate. Amen.