Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The gifts of Learning, Problems and Family

Today we are going to go over three chapters together. Because these are so small I decided not to break them up like I have been doing. So let's start with our next gift in Chapter 6, The gift of Learning.

"Education is a lifelong journey whose destination expands as you travel." The gift of Learning is to be learned by Jason on Red's orders at a library in South America. The library is named after Red and houses books that are rarely seen sitting on the shelves. The people in this remote village in South America have such a desire for knowledge that they are constantly reading. Jason who has always had access to such knowledge never realized the impact it can have on someone who is limited in their access to learning and books. Jason gets through his lesson and learns that the desire and hunger for education is the key to real learning. I think Jason's problem just may well be a common one. Those who are born into free education and limitless access to knowledge take it for granted. Where those who a book is like hope are more grateful and anxious to learn more. Hopefully Red has made his point and Jason will be better mindful of the knowledge he takes for granted.

"Problems may only be avoided by exercising good judgment. Good Judgment may only be gained by experiencing life's problems." In chapter seven, Jason is learning about the Gift of Problems. Red tells Jason in the video that he must find 4 people from the 4 stages of life who have problems and learn from them. He tells Jason that he feels like he always handled all Jason's problems so he didn't have to and that he feels bad about it because Jason needs those life skills. He tells him, "When we can learn from our own problems, we begin to deal with life. When we can learn from other people's problems, we begin to master life." Jason sets off to learn a lesson from each situation he meets. He comes back a month later and tells Mr. Hamilton and Miss Hastings his stories. First he met a child, Emily, who is dieing from terminal cancer. Emily was full of life even with her situation and enjoying a simple beautiful day at the park as if nothing could stop her, not even the cancer. Second person Jason met was a middle aged man named Bill Johnson whom was trying to make ends meet for his family. And even though his family were barely scraping by he was happy and had a wonderful outlook on his life. He knew that even though things were not going his way he was still blessed with the time and love now spent with his family. Third Jason found an old man attending his wife's funeral. But rather than being grief stricken he was joyous and celebrating the life she had lived and even there thanking her for all she ever did for him. Lastly Jason uses himself as the example for the young person. He makes the case that no one he met during the month learned as much as he did during this time. He says what lays at the heart of it all, " I finally know that joy does not come from avoiding a problem or having someone else deal with it. Joy comes from overcoming a problem or simply learning to live with it while being joyful." Jason ends this gift successfully and rushes off to go visit a special friend at the park. Have you learned the lesson that problems are going to come but it's up to you to get through them and see the joy you can have on the other side? Don't forget that there is always someone there with you that's not mentioned in the book, The Holy Spirit.

"Some people are born into wonderful families. Others have to find or create them. Being a member of a family is a priceless membership that we pay nothing for but love." Chapter eight and the last chapter we will go through today is the gift of Family. This month Red sends Jason to what would seem an unlikely place to learn about families, an orphanage. Red tells Jason that he thinks Jason may be able to understand after this trip how important families are and the bond that can be formed from love between them rather blood related or not. Jason spends his month as a house parent with lots of boys and does come out better for it. As they leave the orphanage Jason seems to finally understand and he says, "I think family is not as much about being related by blood as it is about relating through love."

Thankfully Jason is moving along and we will get to more gifts on another day. Happy Reading!

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