Keeping Our L Plates On

Wednesday 09 Jun

Embracing lifelong learning, curiosity and questions. 

A friend in NSW has teenage twin children and this week they reached the age that they can obtain their L plates. My mate and his wife now need to guide the twins through a minimum 240 hours behind the wheel as learner drivers.

Many of you reading this update will relate to that challenge! It’s one of life's most stressful learning opportunities – for novice drivers and their instructor parents.

As I was reflecting on this conversation, I was reminded of the importance of one of our mission community’s core values:
We embrace lifelong learning,

practicing humility and curiosity while encouraging formation and growth.

Yes, as a mission people, we appreciate the need to always have our L-plates on. That challenge applies to all of us – not just our intercultural workers on location.

We want to be a mission community marked by a lifelong learning posture – organisationally, in our teams, and as individuals.

We also want our systems, approaches and processes to always be open to evaluation and improvement, as led by the Spirit, we seek to pursue Kingdom outcomes.

We read in Proverbs 1:5, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning.”

Brian Tracy writes: “Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put into it.”

Our intercultural workers move into neighbourhoods with a commitment to live as learners. They grow in their ability to communicate, connect and reach out. They build authentic relationships as they share in everyday life; discerning where God is at work, inviting them to join Him in sharing the good news of Jesus in ways that make sense to local people.

This commitment to humble curiosity and learning has value for all of us, no matter what our role is in the Global Interaction mission community, as well as in our personal lives, relationships, local church and neighbourhood.

A wonderful former boss and mentor of mine would often say: “Be curious, keep asking good questions, keep learning new things.” He taught me much about the importance of solution-oriented thinking and he always reminded his team that we, as followers of Jesus, have the advantage of asking the Spirit to help us embrace new thinking and innovative ideas.

My ten-year old son is always asking me questions. He has a curious, inquisitive mind. There are times when I want to say: “Arli, stop asking so many questions.” But then I am reminded of the learning opportunities behind all his questions.

Maxime Legace challenges me with her observation: “Curiosity and questions will get you further than confidence and answers.”

Yes, all too often we can think we need to have all the answers, when as Legace suggests, questions will get us further.

This certainly is true for us as people of God, in need of God’s wisdom, leading and help. It’s certainly true as we look to God’s Spirit in an ever-changing world and international mission landscape.

The older I get, the more I see I don’t have the answers and this draws me more and more towards God. My questions, my curiosity, shape and grow my faith. Fifteen months into my role at Global Interaction I know my L-plates are still firmly attached and my prayer is - may it always be so – in every aspect of my life.

Yes, Holy Spirit, help me to humbly maintain a learning posture and as I learn and discern, allow me in bold faith to follow your leading.
God, what is your gracious learning invitation?
God, show me where you are already at work in my world, my community, and where you are inviting me to join you?
God, show me the person, the people you want me to engage with today?
God, where do you want to get my attention?
God, where may you want to interrupt my plans today?
God, what do you want to teach me today as I go about my life?
God, are there things I need to let go of today?
God, are there things that I need to embrace today?
God, as I catch my breath, what new things might you want me to see today?
God, where are you encouraging me to dream today?

God where do you want to spark curiosity in me?
May our mission community continue to be marked by learning, humility, curiosity, bold faith and innovation as we look together to our God of “new things".
Grace and peace
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