Borders Bookstore often times becomes a place for me of both refuge and recluse. A couple of weeks ago I found myself there with some friends. (I didn’t actually “find” myself there…I made a conscious and intentional choice to go there…just to clarify for those of you who may be thinking I either “found who I am” or I teleported) The routine usually goes as follows: Walk in, directly make my way to the “New and Noteworthy” book shelf conveniently placed in front of the store. I usually take a brief look at what all the noteworthy hearsay is about and also check to see if anyone else has decided to debase Jane Austen’s books by adding sea monsters or vampires. I then go and grab a People Magazine or 6, stand in line for coffee, and wait for them to call my name. (I’ve never been one of those to give an alternate name when ordering something, I always wish that I had the guts to give another name, any name, really….I’m convinced if I gave a name such as Stella or Rosemary, I wouldn’t have the stealth follow through that it would require to lie to a barista. In fact, I would most likely stumble over the undetermined name and then laugh and feel 12 again) After hearing my name called, I then grab my coffee, look for one of the brown leather chairs because they are the most comfortable choice of lounging. I drink my coffee, read my trash magazine and occasionally get distracted by people walking by, or a song that I recognize that is playing. It’s quite simple, really. For years, this has been a comfortable and predictable routine for me on any given weekend. Occasionally in the midst of this routine, inevitably one of the steps gets interrupted and I usually leave Borders that night with something to write about. This is precisely what happened a couple of weeks ago and I am now finding time to write about this interruption.( I am finding more and more that good stories, lasting change, and honest conviction come out of interruptions in life. It seems that most of Jesus’ ministry, was usually interrupted somehow whether it be on the road with the interruption coming from someone wanting to be healed, or from one of his disciples in their questions, concerns and ideas.)
Anyway, on this particular day, I got through most of the routine except when it came time to read the magazine. An older gentleman came in and sat down in the twin brown leather chair next to me. He must have been in his early 70’s. He was wearing a baseball hat, a pair of basic blue jeans and a stripped shirt. He looked as if he had been in a hurry to get to Borders and as he sat down, he let out a sigh and said “I lost track of time”. I smiled at him and said something like “oh, I hate it when that happens”. He smiled. He looked as if he were there to meet someone, someone important. It seemed like something significant and of great importance was about to happen. He then looked over to the door as a younger woman walked in, and immediately waved at her excitedly. The gentleman then got up from his chair and moved to a table with his laptop case and takes out his new Macbook pro and places it on the table. (Anyone who is a Mac fan can probably guess what I was thinking in that moment…(insert resisting of coveting thoughts here) The younger woman greeted him and smiled as she pulled out a chair to sit next to him. I was watching as all of this happened and was beginning to wonder what in the world was about to happen. It was then that she began asking questions about their previous meeting and it was then that I realized what was happening. The younger woman had been teaching the older gentleman mathematics. The math was simple, but the man was insistent upon learning. As this beautiful moment was unfolding before my eyes, I glanced down to my trashy People Magazine on my lap and thought to myself….”what am I doing?” I looked back up to witness this beautiful picture of learning, growing, and persevering. It was truly…beautiful. This was the grand interruption that day that has since then, challenged me to be intentional about learning. Henry Ford says “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty”. I don’t want to be an old 27-year-old. I realized that day that it wasn’t necessarily about learning math at age 70, it was about learning…period.
My grandfather, who we called Papa was like this. Always learning, always challenging his mind and his body and his heart. Whether it be working out, learning about the computer, new ways of photography, new medicines and practices, learning about cultures, music, the Bible etc; He was always intentional about pursing change, growth and understanding. As of recent, I have been thinking of different ways to challenge my mind and to be intentional about educating myself/ researching even just basic life stuff. What I am coming to, is that when I am curious about something I do not just let the curiosity sit. I research/hunt down the information to know more about the subject. Here are a few things that I have been studying/reading about as to implement some sort of practical application to this desire.
– I’ve always been interested in NASA and astronomy. I have been reading about what NASA has been discovering/researching more recently
– I do not know a lot about America’s late presidents so I have been leisurely reading about different presidents, and the things/ideas/values that they implemented into America.
– One day I studied about earthworms (completely random, I was just curious)
– Film composers really interest me so I researched about Film Scores and how the creating of films/process of “spotting” happens in films. (Really cool, actually!)
These are just a few things that I have read about. Some of them are random but all are interesting! I don’t mean to come across all “Reading Rainbow’ish” but honestly, learning is so important to growth and change.. This is what has been on my mind lately, just wanted to share some thoughts.