It is once again Tuesday, and the peddler of literary wares (aka me) has arrived with a satchel full of wonderful tidbits and odds n’ ends. 🙂 We’ve got some good stuff today, loves!
Earlier this week, one of my favorite YouTubers (Jack Edwards) posted on his Instagram story about how Harvard was offering FREE ONLINE COURSES. Now, by no means do I support Harvard’s viewpoint on life or their beliefs, but It’s Harvard… are you kidding me? (seriously, there are some great topics
and not so great but go check it out)
Needless to say, I signed up for a humanities course on Shakespeare’s Othello. Yes you read that right, I do English-literature-related-things for fun. XD So far, it has been fantastic and I have had so much fun taking it.
Upon further reflection, I think I have enjoyed it because I have been able to pick and choose the topics I want to learn about. While that ability to choose is not always going to be available, I will definitely use that to my advantage. 😉
Now why am I bringing this up? That is a question you may be asking, and honestly, I myself am wondering the same thing.
I’ve found recently how much I actually enjoy learning new things. Especially because of my tendency to romanticize literally everything in life, taking notes on new things is some of the most fun I have. Shout out to the wonderful academia aesthetics that keep me going during the school year XD
All joking aside, I think the most important thing is that learning new things expands your mind. This is a big “yeah and,” but hear me out. So often we are content to just stick with what we have learned through the education system; often we aren’t content with that either. We have to understand that our access to knowledge and books and words written by geniuses and anything of substance is a gift. Many did not have this luxury for ages and ages, and some still don’t have this.
The access we have to centuries of knowledge is astounding and we often take it for granted. Learning new things expands our horizons and pushes us towards more. In summer, I often crash completely and revert to the extremely useless piece of sleepy, bleary-eyed, “i’m gonna binge watch two different series in the span of a week and then fall head over heels in love with a new show” nature that somehow messes me up eVERY SUMMER.
I think one of the blessings of this quarantine has been the ability to get that crash out of the way. That happened mid-April, and now I am doing just fine. 🙂 That’s why I am learning and growing. It’s important, and I encourage you to just learn for fun!
This is another thing; if you like a subject, don’t force yourself to learn something that completely goes against how your brain works. For example, I am very clearly not someone who would go sign up for a organic chemistry course. (I shiver at the very THOUGHT, y’all) If you like artsy subjects, probably don’t force yourself to do calculus. Same goes for you science people. Don’t write essays all the time if you are just getting into learning for fun. You will burn out and hate everything, and it most certainly will not be fun. If you aren’t someone who naturally wants to pursue “learning,” find ways to make it for you.
Not everyone wants to take a free online course at Harvard, for example. Learning is anything that you deem it to be. Heck, you could just go watch Crash Course videos on YouTube. Whatever you need to do to make challenging yourself to not settle, do that. Life is full of things we can learn. Take your time and make it your own. Bake a cake. Write a book. Challenge yourself to learn a new language. Whatever you do, do it because you want to. Don’t pressure yourself to “learn” by the popular definition of being hunched over a textbook.
A few sentences ago, I said something really good. “Whatever you do, do it because you want to.” I feel like so often we try to be something we aren’t, especially in what we are interested in. If you want to learn to speak Greek, do it because it brings you joy. Sure, it might be hard and it might challenge you, but that is a lot easier to deal with than being unhappy because you don’t like what you are doing.
Most of all, the key is doing it all for God’s glory. While it’s true that our culture has lost the ability to learn for the sake of learning, it’s even more true that we in Christian circles don’t talk about how we should be learning and growing in Him. Another point, if we aren’t living with Him in the center of our lives, everything piled on top doesn’t matter. There are things that are superior that we won’t learn from a YouTube video or a textbook or classes.
I am currently learning this myself. I have to be completely centered in Him, because if I’m not, I can trip ever so slightly into a ditch. I wouldn’t trip because I didn’t have faith, but because I wasn’t focused. This is key. All the knowledge in the world can’t act as a crutch in the place of my Savior. So I can learn all I can, and honestly I encourage that, and as long as I keep pressing into Jesus, I am doing it right.
I think this is best summed up in 1 Corinthians 13:2. “And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (ESV) If I don’t have Jesus, the things I have learned don’t matter.
This song came on my heart as I was writing this. It’s one of my favorites right now, and it fits so well in this.
So to close, I encourage you to find something small that you want to learn! Maybe it’s crochet, or puzzles, or Welsh, or photography. Whatever it is, learn for the sake of learning. Additionally, devote it to the Lord. He is a loving father who is willing to give more of His spirit and bless the work of our hands and minds.
love you all