Teaching Is Simply Stocking The Shelves

book shelf

A moment of clarity for me: Teaching is often the slow investment of truth over time to allow for moments of understanding and transformation.

Someone I know recently “saw the light” on an issue, but only after hearing good advice for a couple of years. I was tempted to feel a little hurt.  When they told me about their new perspective,  my absurd pride was a little wounded, as if this person wasn’t giving the proper credit to me.  I felt like saying, “yes of course, I have been telling you that for 2 years.”  But I realized that this is the nature of teaching and learning. It is the way we experience deep learning.

Time, circumstances, and truth are used by the Holy Spirit to help us grow.

As a parent or teacher, don’t get discouraged at the slow process of stocking the shelves. Sometimes we “inform” for the first time. But more commonly we remind, revisit, and explain what is already in the mind so that people can make new connections (2 Peter 1:12-15). Many of the most important realizations we experience are only possible because years of learning.

In teaching, many of the things we impart are like seeds that may lay dormant for years or decades only to sprout later.