I absolutely love being a student again! Seriously! Sometimes, I can even feel my brain grow! It’s awesome!
Now that I’ve convinced you of my sincerity by the overwhelming use of exclamation points, I shall proceed to confess to a phenomenon that is completely new to me. Yes, I’d heard it spoken of, but I didn’t come close to imagining what the experience would be like. And though I may have thought I wanted to have myself a taste of it, I had no idea what I was asking for.
A speaker once said, “A Degree is just that – one degree out of 360!” Ok, theoretically I agreed with him. But surely after all these years of education, I could lay claim to some superior knowledge…right? Even if it did amount to just a degree it was more than I had before!
Then another said that the more educated you are, the more you realize how little you know. There was an oxymoron if you ever heard one. How could you know less by knowing more?
Whether I like it or not, I’m beginning to understand what those adages were all about…and the understanding is somewhat of a painful experience, but I think that’s just because it hurts my pride.
You know how people try to make you “feel better” about your age? I tell them I’m 31 and they say, “Oh, but don’t worry, you don’t look it!” In response, I’ll usually say something to the effect, “Do you know how hard I worked to be 31?! I had to work everyday for 31years to reach this age! Are you trying to tell me all that work was for nothing?” I take pride in all the wisdom I assume myself to have gained from 31years of life experience! Wouldn’t you?
So now you throw me in a classroom where the more I learn, the more I realize that I don’t really know that much – it wounds my pride, you see.
No, I’m not talking about failing or passing tests! What I’m talking about is when you master a concept and inherent in that mastery is a challenge to years of assumptions that may or may not be validated based on this freshly acquired knowledge. What I mean is that what you learn forces you to re-evaluate your preconceived notions. Your whole world is in flux and its thrilling!
Honestly speaking, this whole process would be far less than thrilling were it not for a few anchor points that have already been worked out.
1. the Bible.
When I read the Bible every morning and evening for my personal devotions, I know that I can trust it as a source of knowledge and foundation for experience. In the world of scholarship, you have no idea how comforting that is!
In here I count biological family as well as friends who are like family. The emotional stability that unconditional acceptance provides cannot be overestimated when you’re going through metaphysical upheaval!
He is and has always been that One constant through every change I have experienced in my life. The assurance of His love, guidance, and presence has an inimitable stabilizing effect.
So that’s my current state of mind as I go into the final month of my second semester as a Masters student. I’m learning so much. Loving every minute. And realizing how little I really know!
Who would do a PhD after all this?!
2 Replies to “the more I know the less I know”
Metaphysical upheaval… Hopefully it’s more of a sense of lack of knowledge, than a sense of the rug being swept from below your feet and that you don’t know how to still believe in what you thought was true. I had one week like that at the seminary, and while I’m grateful for it now, it was a week of darkness for sure!
Thank you for the words of encouragement, Jon! It’s definitely more the rug-swept-up-from-under-my-feet type experience. lol. But, like I said, it’s not EVERYTHING that’s up in the air. A lot. But not everything. 🙂
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