In Others Words: The Art of Learning

Learning Michelangelo 2016

Most everyone would agree that Michelangelo was a creative genius, the artisan who sculpted the Pietà and David before he was 30, and who also painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

But I never realized Michelangelo considered himself a learner.

When you consider someone as talented … no, as gifted as Michelangelo, you assume the man knows what he’s doing, right? He must have had an innate ability to sculpt, to paint, to design … to do everything he did.

And yet, his favorite saying was: I am still learning. 

And maybe those four words hold the key to all that Michelangelo accomplished — or at least hold a key to what he accomplished. I still believe he was incredibly gifted. But I also believe his posture of a learner — his inquisitiveness, his questioning — benefitted everything he did.

And it makes me wonder: Am I still learning? Or am I coasting on what I’ve already learned? 

In Your Words: Do you have a favorite saying? What is it? How does it influence your life? And do you consider yourself a learner? What have you learned recently?

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  1. July 21, 2016, 12:16 am   /  Reply

    Well, yes, I do have a favourite saying…”If I have something worth dyin’ for, it’s also worth killin’ for.”

    I’ve lost hope, and softness, and grace, but I haven’t lost focus, and God help anyone who crosses me now.

    • July 21, 2016, 12:12 pm   /  Reply

      It’s funny, Andrew, how I find myself wanting to argue with you (especially since you just said “God help anyone who crosses me now”). But I don’t believe you’ve lost hope. And I don’t believe anyone ever loses grace. Not the God-given kind anyway. And His grace is lavish and it outlasts any of our circumstances and attitudes. I’ve learned that the hard way — and I’m thankful for that.

      • July 21, 2016, 1:42 pm   /  Reply

        No, you’re right, Beth. Yesterday and the days leading up to it have been more painful that I can say…and this morning, God said, “Gotcha”

        He sent another dog.

  2. July 21, 2016, 10:57 am   /  Reply

    I am always learning. Not long ago I was reading in Genesis where God had to kill an animal to clothe Adam and Eve. I’d always looked at it that an animal had to die to clothe them because they sinned, but never that there had to be a blood sacrifice to cover the sin before God could have fellowship with them.

    • July 21, 2016, 12:14 pm   /  Reply

      Your comment today reminds me of something Howard Hendricks, an amazing Bible teacher, who said, “I was reading the Bible for the hundredth time and I learned this … ” — see? You can always, always learn something new about God, the Bible — anything.

  3. July 22, 2016, 6:25 am   /  Reply

    As I read this, I believe the potential to learn new things and expand horizons keeps us alive and young. I hope I don’t intend ever to lose that ability. I was amazed recently while rdg. the Bible for the umpteenth time to see that nations have lifetimes that are sometimes as much a blink of an eye as individual human lives–an interesting perspective, especially in a very contested election year.

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