I was with my granddaughter a few weeks back just amazed at the development over 16 months of life. We all await her sounds turning into words, because she definitely has a great deal to tell us about. Reflecting upon her growth however I noticed that some of the changes of life came rather simply and quickly for her. It seems as if one day her eyes didn’t follow you across the room and then the next day, they do. One day she crawls and another day she is walking over to you. But sometimes change is more incremental and it takes work and practice.
The other day while eating she reached over to grab a spoon (just because grandpa had a spoon). All the other days before, seems that hand to mouth was just fine, but now she sees something, thinks about it differently, and now she needs a spoon. So we handed her a spoon. With valiant effort she poked the spoon in her food, but moving the food loaded spoon to her mouth proved more challenging. Next thing we knew she grabbed the food with her other hand and put it directly into her mouth.
Learning is like that though isn’t it. What we learn, we do not always get fully. We read or hear a lecture and take away a new thought, but soon find it is easier to do things the way we are used to. We never scold a child for learning as they make these transitions in an ever growing set of skills and new ways. Perhaps we need to be more patient with ourselves in our learning, our growing, and our maturing. Perfection is not the goal of a moment, we all learn over time and sometimes we end up utilizing both the knowledge and skills of the past while we are growing more comfortable with the new knowledge and skills of life.
The scriptures of the Bible affirm that God is very patient with us. Jesus shows this great patience with his disciples in the Gospels. If God is patient with us, perhaps we need permission to be a little more patient with ourselves and with others as we all have a pretty big learning curve in this journey through life.