I’m a computer person only because my husband was a computer person. He purchased the first handheld calculator manufactured 35 years ago. It cost $1,200. A few years later, he bought one of the first personal computers. Our Apple 2E was sold in order for him to be able to buy the first MacIntoch.
I trekked along side him learning bits and pieces while he zoomed ahead. I kept pace rather well until PowerPoint appeared on the techno scene. In fact, when I first heard the term, Power Point, I could only imagine what it meant. Yet, within a matter of weeks, it seemed to take over the world of computers before I could even begin to understand its purpose.
When I was given a Power Point program, I was convinced that it would be one of the most useful program I’d ever used. Alas, I still not found a reason or purpose to use it. My low tech overhead projector still serves all my purposes. Patiently, the PowerPoint program languishes on my desktop waiting for me to unearth its full potential.
At times, I’ve wondered how anyone who does not devote their lives to learning about computers can actually come to fully understand them. In my mind, PowerPoint became a symbol of all the things I don’t know about computers.
Then I was introduced to the Internet through my daily blogs and I found a new love until I was expected to know all the acronyms–the url’s and pmq’s of that vast expanse of knowledge. Clearly, I stood immersed with enormous new bytes and bits of information that I was expected to master.
Slowly, I realized that I needed to revert back to the way I grasped new skills when I was a child. I found that I learned best when I was able to take one small step at a time. Because I didn’t ever own a bicycle, I was pretty old before I acquired the skill of riding a bicycle. By the time I determined to learn, everyone assumed that it was a skill that I’d already assimilated. Therefore, no one was interested in helping me. Therefore, I taught myself.
First, I propped my brother’s bike against the fence in our yard and I got on the bike. I sat on the bicycle for long periods of time each day for about a week. I didn’t trying to move the bike but simply got the feel of the peddles and the seat. I would push away from the fence and try to balance myself, grabbing the fence when I started to fall. Slowly, I became confident enough to push completely from the fence and within a few minutes I was riding.
While it would appear that I mastered riding a bike quickly, it was learning to balance that was the key for me. Over the years, I’ve found that I need practical experience before theoretical knowledge is useful to me. Hand-0n experience works better than written instructions.
In my Christian life, it is the same. While I love to read and study the scriptures, it is when I can apply those verses to my life experience that I know God’s truth has come alive in my life. While I still don’t know much about Power Point and the Internet acronyms seem to grow like weeks in my garden, I can accomplish what God wants me to because He has helped me to discover some important keys to the ways I learn.
What are some of the things you have learned about the ways you learn? Do you learn from instruction or hand-on experience? Are you a verbal, visual or auditory learner? How does God speak to you teaching you about himself?