The Way We Learn

Everyone learns differently.  One of the often criticized aspects of traditional public education is that many students have difficulty because they don’t necessarily learn the way a teacher prefers to teach, leading them to believe that they are just not as capable, when they truly are. Art is no different.

“I learn better by hearing,” Nancy declares while in class today.  With a sideways smile, Steve responds, “That’s interesting because it always seems to be that you learn best when I show you something.” 

The conversation struck a chord with me.  Steve is particularly good at this, understanding precisely what his students need, even when they don’t.  He’s right, of course, Nancy really responds when she is shown something.  Meanwhile, I ask for him to do something for me on the canvas, and he gives me a sideways glance, knowing it’s better if he just explains it to me and I stumble around for a bit, it’s how I learn. Other students in the class are no different.  It seems Steve finds exactly how they learn and, even when they think they need one thing, he gives them what will truly benefit them in the long run and improve their painting.

As with most of our art classes, the interactions today made me think of my relationship with God.  How often do I expect him to approach me a certain way, and then become frustrated when it seems that doesn’t happen? 

So often I hear someone give a powerful testimony, and a small part of me is sad, “God doesn’t speak to me that way,” I think.  Then, somehow this becomes an indication of God’s love for me, or lack thereof.  I know I have heard others say, “Well, God just doesn’t speak to me.”  Maybe the truth is, God speaks to us differently.  Just like an art class, he gives us each what we need, infinitely wiser than ourselves.  Perhaps we can trust him to love us and have our best interest at heart? He did send his son for us after all, how much more love can he demonstrate?  

Steve has been painting most of his life, he’s sold paintings all over the world, maybe I can learn to trust the way he approaches me too?

Posted on October 19, 2016 .