“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” — C.S. Lewis
Sometimes we can only truly understand something after we have experienced it. Only after we have come face to face with such things can we fully appreciate their full substance. Experience teaches us in ways that lectures or books never could, but the lessons we learn from our experience are invaluable.
This last week I was taught two little lessons. The first lesson was that I was wrong about philosophy (which I am upset about), but the second lesson was that I was wrong about sports (which I am happy about).
Last week I wrote about my hopes of writing a series of posts about the philosophical frailties of naturalism, but less than twenty-four hours after posting the article I was taught my first lesson. When I wrote the article I felt so confident in my understanding of naturalism that I was blind to my own misconceptions. Later that same evening when I engaged in an online debate, I was quickly proven wrong. My opponent was well informed and sternly corrected my flawed thinking. Only after I had been brutally defeated on a public forum was I able to see where I went wrong. Now, my ego is still bruised, but I have realized that I need to study more before I go around the internet trying to teach others what I think I know. For this reason I will be postponing my series on naturalism until such a time that I can provide our readers with accurate information.
My second lesson was learned just yesterday. Last night was the first time I darkened the door of an athletic event in my four years of attendance at NCU. Until last night I had never been present at an NCU game. I had arrogantly thought that sports were somehow below me – that they were unnecessary to my life at NCU – but I was proven wrong. I thought the game would bore me, but I found myself taken captive by the spirit of our school and its athletes. As I watched our girls volleyball team play the sport that they love, my skepticism washed away and gave rise to boisterous cheers and applause with each point scored. I not only got to see our team win with an impressive lead in points, but I got to participate in part of the campus community that I had been depriving myself of for the last three years. While I regret that I missed out on so much in the past, I can now authentically say that I am eager to attend as many future games as I can.
Experience is a brutal teacher, but I’m thankful for the little lessons it teaches.