Today’s Word: ‘Learner’ as in… I’m learning to rewrite the narrative.
I’m heading to Tanzania in July with a group from the Prince of Peace community. At a recent pre-trip gathering we caught up with each other and made some new connections with those who were there for the first time. Because of the sabbatical, this was my first meeting with the group, and it was a learning moment for sure! I learned some new names, I learned that at least three people in the group identify themselves as ‘learners’, I learned that zip lock bags are no longer approved for travelers heading to Tanzania because of the waste hazard in that country and I learned about the relationship between our congregation and the local African congregations we’ll be visiting. I also learned that the Lutheran Church in Tanzania is one of the largest and fastest growing churches on the planet. Yes, the planet. Wow!
I also learned that I am, more or less—mostly more, prone to a bias that limits just about everything.
There’s a narrative going in my mind that I wasn’t even aware of until we all talked about it. My narrative needs some rewriting. Again, let me be very transparent. Here’s a line of thinking that comes way too easily: “I have something that others don’t have. And so I’m going to fly halfway around the planet (because I can) and I’m going to bring my ‘something’ with me and give it to them because they are, you know, lacking, so very lacking. And when I give them what I’ve got, they’re going to be a little better off and even a little more like me. And because of that I’m going to be a lot better off and feel a lot better about myself.”
I’ve got some learning to do.
Could it be, could it possibly be that I might be the one lacking? Could it be that I’m the one more likely to benefit? Could it be that by giving, we all receive?
Man, that sounds familiar. What a learning moment.