I was reading an article on Barnacles and liberal education and how education can help us stop being barnacles by opening up our lives to new thoughts, new ideas, new ways of living rather than just sticking to our comfortable rocks and not growing. I was especially struck by this quote:
Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account.
However, it’s not just a liberal education that can lead to growth and building meaning into our lives. How many times have I clung to my comfortable rock of sin and had the Lord gently pry me loose so that I could live more fully and freely in obedience to Him? How many times have I wanted to hide from being known and had a friend pry me loose and convince me to trust and be vulnerable so that I could have deeper fellowship? How many times have I wanted to cling to my own idea of the world and had a book, or more often, God’s Word open my eyes to my ignorance so that my life was enriched and new horizons beckoned? The Lord Himself, the relationships He has allowed in my life, the books He brings across my path and other things as well pry me out of my comfort zone, give rich meaning to my life, open my world to great and glorious visions, and fill my days with laughter, goodness, beauty, and truth. How thankful I am for learning to swim rather than to stay a barnacle.