There is this tendency in people to desire originality. We want to be smart enough to figure out our life without other people’s help. We feel our way along and try to do the best we can in every situation.
Well, one of the benefits of being in the Church is that we have a community of people to draw upon. We can learn from our own experiences along with the experiences of others. Through the years I have tried to learn from the people in the Church. I ask a lot of questions and try to learn from the failure and success of others. Here are some of the areas I have sought guidance:
1. Spiritual growth
Find a few people who really know their Bible and ask them questions about how they read. Talk to people who have meaningful prayer lives and discover how they pray. We are surrounded by people who serve, give and love with great intensity. How do they do it? What can I learn from them?
Spend time with people who have had long happy marriages. You can have relationships with couples your own age, but seek the knowledge of those older and wiser.
I would suggest you talk to people who have had your similar life experience. For instance, people who might have had to deal with a spouse who travels just like you. I love talking to people with four children, especially if they had four boys. How did their marriage survive the parenting years? What did they do to make time for themselves?
You also need to have some open conversations with people whose marriages failed. What happened? What would they do differently?
3. Parenting [or Grand-parenting]
Evaluate what your parents did right with you. The hard part is that their weakness will probably be your weakness. Keep the good and be aware of the bad.
Talk to people whose children have grown up to be believers as adults. Many people just emulate what the parents around them are doing. I want to know what people did who raised Godly children and they remained that way as adults.
Also have honest conversations with people whose children have drifted away from the faith. What do they think happened? What would they do differently?
These are just a few of the areas I try to learn from the generation before me. We are part of community called the Church so that we have support, encouragement and can share in a large pool of knowledge. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Ask, talk and learn.