Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On Experience


There is something to be said for experience.
There is something to be said for getting into it, getting your hands dirty, struggling through the very middle of the circumstances, wrestling with the best way/worst way/mediocre way/last minute way/someone else's way.

There is something to be said for finding life influences that have already gone through the stuff you're going through; for seeking out those who have done it and done well and then examining their values, motives, approaches.

There is something to be said for seeking experience through following, experience through leading, experience through discipleship, experience through education, experience through...

But, there is no substitute for actually doing it.
And in our culture we tend to take people who have never done it, who have only learned about doing it, and have them teach others how to do it.

Because I can read as many books on teaching as I can, but until I have stood before students...
I can talk to as many war veterans as I can, but until I have gone into combat...
I can attend as many classes on surgical procedures as a medical school offers, but until I have carved the scalpel through flesh with my own hands...
I can research the best ways to capture an audience, but until I have delivered the speech...
I can be discipled in the most effective way to lead, but until I have people who are ready to follow...
I can observe the growth of as many beautiful gardens as I can find, but until I plant my own...


It is said that experience is the best teacher.
I would say that there are many valuable teachers, and that we need to seek those out.
We need to glean from those who have gone before us and soak in everything we can on the topic of whatever it is we are entering into.
(I don't want to be taught by someone who has never done... who isn't doing.)

Because experience through following is still experience, but it's only one view.
Experience through leading is still experience, but it's only one view.
Experience through discipleship is still experience, but it's only one view.
Experience through education is still experience, but it's only one view. 


The fullness is in the doing. In every aspect of the doing.
Because experience is the best teacher.

I want to learn from those who have done... from those who are doing... 
so I can go and do.


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