I was listening to a teaching on Joshua this morning, called 'Rotate Your Gifting.' And I was thinking, groan. I already KNOW all this stuff. Why do I have to listen through this? Why not just skip this one, and go on to the next teaching?
And I found reasons.
Of course, I first had to find a reason before I even began to listen to the teaching, even before I realized I already knew what the teaching was about. That's a pretty simple reason. It's so simple, it's an embarrassment to say. I did it for the same reason I breathe: because that's what you do to keep alive. Not a whole lot of need to explain that one, is there? Except to say this: if I were to choose to hold my breath, at some point I'd either give up, or pass out, and if I passed out, my body would start breathing again whether I wanted to or not. Can't really say the same thing for my spiritual life; I suppose that if I refused to do the things I need to do to stay alive spiritually, I would just wither away. SO FAR THOUGH!!!!! .every.single. time. I've done that, I give this great big gasp and start living again. So I guess there is some sort of survival mechanism at work. And it makes me wonder what I must look like to those who can see with spiritual eyes: "Look, the moron is holding his breath again. When is he going to stop doing that? Idiot."
So, anyway, that's reason number one, and it's good enough to get me started. Reason number two: It's a good example. How am I going to tell my offspring to listen to things they already know, to repeat them over and over, if I don't do the same thing? Maybe there ARE some people or animals somewhere who learn something after the first time. I don't think I ever met one. This morning, I trained my obstinate cat to rear up, put a front paw on my chair, and take a yummy treat from my fingers. But that was based on first training her to come when she heard the package rattle. And it took the LONGEST time to get her to take the treat from my fingers. And so forth. The point is, repetition matters, and unless I'M willing to do it, hard to require it of others.
Reason #1, reason # 2, and now for reason #3: I don't know as much as I think I know. Sure, the first part was basic; repeated lessons I'd learned not only in church but in my professional training and in years of recovery from alcoholism. But then: I learned something about Joshua I never knew: while Moses was up on the mountain, Joshua was waiting for him in a cave. The whole time. Not so the elders; just Joshua. And that's pretty huge. And because of time constraints, I'm not going to talk any more about that point.
But the FINAL (I think it's the final) reason for listening to what I already know is: rabbit trails. There are some AMAZING ways that new thoughts, new plans develop. I think it's because once you start stirring up, you just get momentum going, and it's entirely lovely. I have about, I don't know, four or five new things that are pretty much unrelated to Joshua cooking right now.
I think I love it when I'm wrong.