Words are words, except for the Word
April 02, 2008
In kindergarten some of the teachers have literacy centers they call "Writing the Room.'' Six-year-olds, clip-boards or little white boards in hand, roam the room, writing down whatever letters they see. Eventually, they become aware that their classmates' names are made up of letters, and they become very excited to fill up their little notepads with lists of names. They move on to sight words, and somewhere along the way they realize that by stringing words together, sounding out a few words in between that they haven't learned, adding punctuation (a big deal!), they can make sentences.
By this time of year, many are stringing sentences together into little stories. Students are encouraged to spell phonetically for now and to share what they have written with the class (and equally as important, to be good listeners while their peers share).
I was thinking of all that last night as I sat here in front of the computer with nothing new to write, but with a handful of pithy one liners some anonymous persons have written and which seemed to somehow want to be strung together into something meaningful.
For instance, "Discovery is seeing what everyone has seen, yet thinking what no one else has thought" was scrawled in the margin of a Good News Newsletter which already contained this quote: "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.''
Another: "Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.''
And: "The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to
But I couldn't get them to all come together into one compact idea. In the middle of the night, when I thought everything was lining up, I got up. "Might as well get up
and write what I'm thinking," I thought. But at that particular moment, the computer refused to accommodate, and by now I've forgotten where I was going with it all.
I know it had to do with a couple of perspectives I've heard on the radio recently: something about layers and layers of knowledge and facts being confused with the kind of wisdom which comes from experience. It also had to do with the rag tag bunch of helpers Jesus handpicked to accompany him on his itinerancy here on earth.
Certainly the first disciples weren't chosen because they had sat at the feet of the most learned rabbi or attended the most prestigious synagogue schools.
Instead, their wisdom increased as they decreased. Their only learning came from an intimate walk with the One who was Wisdom personified.
I'll just leave all the bits and pieces with you to string together—to mull over for the week—to see what everyone else has seen and to think what no one else has thought.
And I thank you for being courteous peer listeners.