We Are All Underpaintings
This doesn’t look like much right now. It’s not supposed to, it’s in the underpainting stage. The underpainting stage is when you began adding the beginning layers of a painting, that will help to shape the outer image. It reminds me of our lives really.
No, we don’t look like garbled messes, on the outside, lol. Out of the womb, we are beautiful on the outside, because God is a Master artist. On the inside though, because of both maturity, and the fall of man, we are not complete.
Over time, as we grow and are taught, layers are added. The problem isn’t telling a child they don’t yet know something. They know, they don’t know everything, whether they admit it or not. It’s the adults that have to be convinced there are things we may not yet, either know, or be complete in.
A teachable spirit. It sounds wonderful, and I think most of us want one. Yet, and maybe this is just me, but sometimes I have to be reminded, that I need to keep silent, listen, and learn. If you have ever faced this, I’d like to share three encouraging tips with you.
First, even if you are an expert in the subject, someone else, even a novice, may have a different perspective. Learning is never a competition. We may use competition to aid learning, but it should never hinder it.
Admitting someone else may see something you didn’t, doesn’t put them ahead of you. Nor does it diminish what you have learned, it simply means they saw something that you may not have yet. I would encourage you never to dismiss knowledge because it came after you became entrenched in the topic.
Second, and John Maxwell has written beautifully on this. Don’t dismiss good ideas because you don’t like the source of them. A horrible, or untrustworthy person, can either have, or pass along an idea that can be used for good. That doesn’t justify their actions, an idea is like a hammer, it can break glass, or it can build a home.
Thirdly, even if you do not have a natural interest in learning about a subject, think of others. Someone, whether your child, grandchild, coworker, or those you lead, need you to keep learning. It’s not about studying to share the information with them, it’s about studying to give yourself new ways of adding value to others.
Finally, and most importantly, be careful what subjects you choose. There are countless topics in the world, and many subjects of value, but I would encourage you to choose the best subjects. Things that will bless you, your family, and those you are connected too. If a subject draws you away from what is essential, then I would encourage you to exclude it.
As you know, I’m a Christian, in this day and age, I would encourage you to focus on faith, family, and serving those in your life. Subjects tied to these things should be primary, and then hobbies, interests, etc. We all need to take some time for us, to stay charged to help others, but it should never become more important than our first priorities.
If you have become distracted, or have had problems learning, I would also say, the past is not the decider. How you treated things previously does not dictate today. Also, if you struggle with learning, this does not reflect your ability. We all learn differently.
Some people are visual learners, some learn by doing. Some face challenges, such as dyslexia, however, they are among the most creative and brilliant people I know. History shows some of our greatest thinkers had issues with dyslexia, or some other challenge. Don’t ever allow challenges to diminish your perception of your abilities, or where you perceive that you can go.
God created every man, woman, and child. We are not complete on this Earth, so we all have the ability to learn, to do, and to change. The question is not can we learn, but will we try! I encourage you to try!