Returning to school after years away can be a deeply unsettling experience for many adults. Competent though they may be in their work or homes, they find themselves suddenly at the mercy of teachers sometimes younger than they and in danger of ridicule from fellow students who could be their own children…Teachers of adults do well to recognize the anxiety…it is often masked as bravado or scorn. But underneath often lies a deep uncertainty – about the ability to succeed…More times than I can count, but nearly daily Daloz’s words here are validated in my experience. As men we do not like to be exposed as lacking in areas where we thing that we should not be. So we will avoid situations that, in our estimation, might lead to that exposure. When we do that we forget how we became competent in those things in which we do excel. We failed, early and often, and learned from those failures. Regardless of the endeavor, whether athletics, business, relationships – whatever, if we are good at it we were bad at it first. We want to transfer that competence to our spiritual lives and tend to forget that it took time, in some cases a lot of time to get really competent in what we do.
There are no shortcuts. But there is some really great news. Whereas our quest for competence in the athletic, business, and relational world was unaided; that is not the case with spiritual growth. When you and I open the Bible; the author has promised to lead us through the process to understand and apply it to our lives, John 16:13 -14. Think of that, the author of the Bible not only has promised to lead us into truth, but He has died in our place, rose again in three days, ascended to the right hand of God and intercedes for us with the Father as we work out trying to get to know Him through the Book He left behind. That is a safe way to learn if there ever was one.