Thursday, August 07, 2008

Teachable?

He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding (Proverbs 15:32)

This verse was the thought behind today's radio blurb with Aaron Ironside - I thought it a bit dumb not to recycle the thoughts here - should have done it for the last 5 weeks really, especially now that my regular slot is "done" for a while. I'll miss the paycheque too! Hang on, what paycheque?!

Inspired or was it disillusioned by the sight of politicians surrendering to a taste of discipline this week after the infamous taping saga, I began to wonder what it takes for people to learn life lessons. And what I decided was there are 2 types of people in this world: people who are "teachable" and people who are "learnable". In fact there's only one kind, but some are learning to be more teachable.

To be learnable is to be human. To learn from mistakes, bad experiences, pain, pleasure. Sometimes we learn some twisted things. Sometimes we learn some great lessons and vow never to repeat our mistakes. But learnability for all its great attributes, is limited to what the self is able to process.

To be teachable though, thats another thing altogether. To find in us the humility to accept the guidance, correction, discipline, wisdom of another. Now that is something worth learning.

And yet some things can't be microwaved. There is still the need to learn for ourselves what only experience can teach us. Its great to stand on the shoulders of others, but some things, like character are never imparted. They have to be grown personally. The perseverance that comes from...well...persevering, the skill that come from practice...the wisdom that comes from experience, bitter and exultant...these things take time.

When I think more deeply about it, I guess I discover in me that teachability is something that also grows with time. Its rare to find a truly teachable person at a young age. As I've started my 3rd and final career as a pastor, I have found the value of putting myself in teachable opportunities - the stakes are too high really to do otherwise. And the realisation of one's own fallibility too apparent. I invest a lot more time in teachableness these days...some formal stuff and even last night over a leisurely beer with a good friend!

Anyways, thats not so much what I shared but the personal thought process behind it. Actually, I'm tempted to delete it, which is how I feel most times after these radio slots - but every time I get email, texts and phone calls from people who heard it. Kind of weird, but its good if it helps.

8 comments:

BJ said...

If you're interested at all my other pieces have been inspired by:

NASA's 50th anniversary
Radovan Karadzic
Claire
Food Packaging

Amazing what people will listen to!

BJ said...

For the sake of all those 'young people' out there who failed to see the autobiographical context to this paragraph:

"When I think more deeply about it, I guess I discover in me that teachability is something that also grows with time. Its rare to find a truly teachable person at a young age. As I've started my 3rd and final career as a pastor, I have found the value of putting myself in teachable opportunities - the stakes are too high really to do otherwise. And the realisation of one's own fallibility too apparent. I invest a lot more time in teachableness these days."

This paragraph is about me and my journey from being an upstart to being mildly teachable. Its not about anyone else. Just for the avoidance of doubt.

Of course some would say I'm just a mild upstart and not yet teachable to which I'd say: don't got telling me who I am you jerk!

Rhett said...

I cannot tell you how relieved it makes me feel to know that there is still a chance that I am gonna make it! :-P

Vipers Lips said...

You shouldn't be so down on yourself. It was a good piece today. Slick tie into the current events angle with Bill English and the "party discipline". The death to self reference was good as well. You know, the stage-managed apology made for some great TV in my opinion. Key came out looking more like a leader. It was decisive and well-handled. By the way, I don't listen to Rhema as a rule. I know the announcer though so sometimes listen. Just so you know.

Steve Goble said...

I thought it a bit dumb not to recycle the thoughts here - should have done it for the last 5 weeks really

Well, there's nothing stopping you 'repeating' the series here! :)

BJ said...

Steve - how Goble-esque of you to recommend such and approach!

Vipers Lips - thanks, I'm curious though - I know you right? Random guess: do we share initials?

Rhett - that's funny. I suppose we never really make it with the way our pride has a hold of us. Worth a go though.

Vipers Lips said...

Good guess. Your profile is on the 1914 Media Trust website which you get a link to from the Film Guide website. You get described as a pastor there, which I see is true \o/ Google "Brett Jones Pastor" or "Brett Jones blog" and you get hits that bring you here and your church as well.

servant said...

and even last night over a leisurely beer with a good friend!

...and what a nice beer it was. I need to remember what I had - I think it was Epic Pale Ale. It was an interesting taste - a little lacking balance on the palate, but that provided a bit of intrigue.

The taste was quite fruity, tangy - but with just a tinge of saltiness. Mostly it was sweet and fruity, but off the end it was hard to distinguish a sweet or bitter taste.

They clearly use lots of hops in the brewing.

I'll have that again.