Education vs. experience.

I’ve been out of college for over a year now. As much as I love having evenings and weekends free of homework, I’ve still thought about going back to school, oh, maybe 20 times over the course of the year.

This thought usually crosses my mind for one of two reasons. Either (1) I feel dumb at work or (2) I get frustrated or bored and feel like taking on a new project.

Not a single time have I thought: ‘eh, I just miss learning and really think writing a thesis while simultaneously going further into debt sounds like a rockin’ good time.’

And then I remember that maybe someday I’ll trade in the briefcase for a diaper bag and wave farewell to the 8-5 grind. Then, a fancy degree could be a financial and professional waste.

Every time I bounce around grad school ideas, I come back to the same conclusion: Experience educates, and it’s usually the best educator of all.

In college, we fill our minds with tidbits of information that we may need to know in the future. At work, the process is reversed. When I run into a problem, I find the information because I need to know it. It’s applied, it’s direct, it’s real life.

And sometimes it’s challenging. Witnessing works the same way.

We can spend our lives in spiritual college. We start with Sunday school, and later we continue our education with sermons, Bible studies, late-night study sessions with the best textbook of all—written by none other than the best Professor of all.

We know this studying is essential to living a purpose-filled life.

Listening, reading, worshipping and praying are all awesome ways to get A’s in spiritual college.

But, at some point, we should gain experience in our Chosen field. We should practice. We do this by sharing our knowledge with others. We step outside of our comfortable classrooms, and we lovingly speak to spiritually uneducated people.

And, no matter how many tests we aced during school, we’ll run into questions and have to reopen the Book, scrambling for answers—right here, right now, in real life.

And in seeking answers which will directly impact our lives, we’ll grow.

Spiritual education is absolutely vital: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

But just as experience is everything in the professional world, remember it really amps up your spiritual resume: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

As little ones celebrate the back-to-school season purchasing new crayons, scissors and glue, buy yourself some time for reading the Bible, sending up prayers and thinking deeply. Spiritual schooling will continually prepare you for the world, where living happens quickly and faith is tested daily.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Angie, first off, I love the background. It is so beautifully North Dakota! Second, what a great reflection. It brought me back to times in my life when I contemplated going back to school. So far, that hasn’t happened. The master’s and doctorate degrees I once thought I’d pursue were replaced by real life — five children who demanded my attention instead. And boy, have I gotten an education from being their mother! Right now, real life suffices, and yet I am always on the quest to learn more. I love the idea of being a lifelong learner, but it doesn’t always take place in a classroom. The food for thought on the spiritual education was edifying too. It’s so important that we don’t let our foundation grow weak. Oh, and I love the Scripture verse from Peter. :)

    Love the blog and will look forward to stopping back!



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