Sunday, 8 August 2010

Are you a still a learner?

Learner drivers - you gotta have them but you don't like getting stuck behind them! Learning is an interesting topic because in one sense you don't and shouldn't ever stop learning, life is one big learning journey.
It's a journey that favours the curious. Babies become very curious very quickly and whilst it can be a real handful for the parents - all the what, why, where, how, but, what if etc - this initially tiring time is repaid in full as the children become both interested and interesting, as they both seek and give knowledge, as they engage in a life that understands the importance of putting into practice what they learn. Sometimes you learn an important truth or lesson and move on. It is a valuable and useful lesson - but you don't need to dwell there - fire burns, don't touch it! Lesson learned, move on. Sometimes, however, there needs to be continuous learning, a subject or topic that just keeps on opening up new areas of discovery, new avenues of exploration, new paths to follow.

In Hebrews 6 we are told to:
" leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity," in other words learn them, leave them and move on into newer and deeper areas! Leave doesn't mean forget - like you don't forget that fire burns, it remains a useful, invaluable and practical guide for living. There are other areas, one of which is worship, where we must remain as learners, we must retain a real curiosity and desire to keep on exploring for to do so keeps us moving deeper into God but not to do so leads to a life that stagnates and lacks passion.
I have found so many resources that keep me pursuing worship as a student, a learner - not in theory but in practice. These resources include God's Word, worship songs from all era's the books of A W Tozer and many others, but currently a little book by Matt Redman called 'Facedown' which I cannot recommend highly enough. It is not so much new material - although there is plenty of that- as it is a revision and reminder of much I have learned but forgotten or simply not put into practice. I have treated worship as though it is one of the Hebrews 6:1 categories - but it isn't!
It is one of those books that has great 'one liners' that send you off in many interesting directions:
'when it comes to worship the heavenly throne must set the tone'
'Any genuine celebration of God's glory WILL be followed by a humbling before His greatness'
'Worship thrives on wonder'
'Left to ourselves we tend immediately to reduce God to manageable terms'
'we convey a tame and domesticated God, and find ourselves stuck in the endless pursuit of the ordinary'
'God is God and as such He owes us nothing - not even answers'
'what the church needs today is a restoration of a vision of the Most High God'
'God does not delight in fast food spirituality'
'so often paradox is the gateway to mystery and wonder in worship'

That's probably enough - and it's a fraction of the 'food' in this small book that has jolted me into increasing the depth and pace of my learning about ,and experience of, worship.
I'm pleased to be a learner and happy to wear the 'L' plates when it comes to worshipping the Most High God.

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