Faith column: The end of learning?
Life is full of transitions where we are forced to learn.
WORTHINGTON — Matthew 11: 28-30: Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
One day several years ago, I called a friend on the phone. It was the evening of the first day of school. Her six-year-old daughter answered the phone. The conversation went like this:
Me: How was your day, Susie?
Susie: It was great! I loved it! (She proceeded to tell me about the day.)
Me: What will you do at school tomorrow? Did your teacher tell you?
Susie: Oh, I’m not going tomorrow. I went today. That was enough! I am done.
That was 30 years ago, and Susie still has not escaped from learning! It is not that simple.
At some point in our lives, we all say we have had enough learning. We have had enough math lessons (when our career choice requires no more), we have had enough child care (when our children are grown), we have had enough healthy meals (when we are tired of learning what is good for us), we have had enough work (when we are ready to vacation or retire) and the list goes on.
But life is full of transitions where we are forced to learn.
The change between high school and college or work involves many life lessons (forced learning if you will). Marriage requires learning to live and work together to budget, plan for the future and to grow together as partners. Having children requires learning about child development, relationship building, teaching, listening, emergency medical care and a plethora of other skills. Working with the public requires learning. Any professional career requires entry-level learning and usually certification and recertification. We expect it.
How does learning fit your life of faith? Are you done? Do you feel forced to learn? Is there a place you have had enough learning?
Scripture tells us that when we are weary and carrying heavy burdens we can come to Jesus and find rest. We can learn from Jesus. Not that we can stop learning, but that we can learn from Jesus.
The yoke of Jesus Christ is the yoke of love. Christ’s way is easy and the burden is light. In this moment when life seems very complicated, learning the way of Christ, the way of love offers a way of peace and hope for all humans.
Mary Anne Parker is vicar at American Lutheran Church in Worthington.