A healthy culture of learning involves some risk…

I’ve recently enjoyed reading the story of Peter walking on the water again. I love Peter. He’s a heart-on-his-sleeve, act-first-ask-questions-later kind of guy, and while that gets him in trouble at times, it also gets him closer to Jesus than many others did.  Peter was not afraid to ‘take a stab’, to ‘have a go’, to ‘give it a shot’. Whether that was stating who Jesus actually was (before any of the others had worked it out), or whether it was jumping out of a boat in a storm to get to Jesus, Peter didn’t often allow fear of the unknown, or what other people might think to stop him from pushing into new opportunities.

To learn anything new or to have any new learning experience involves some level of risk. It requires us to step outside of existing comfort zones, to be willing to let go of previously held conceptions (or misconceptions) about who we are and what we’re capable of, and to ignore those nagging fears (‘it won’t work’, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘what will people think?’). But what a joy when we do and what deep and rich learning happens in that moment! What a wonderful gift God has given us, the ability to learn something new!

It is one of the most important goals we have here at the College, to create learning environments where students feel safe to step into the unknown and confident to try something new, and most importantly, when they take a risk and fall, to extend our hand to lift them back up onto their feet to try again, just like Jesus did for Peter.