Have you applied the classical model to the stuck places in your life?
If you were educated using modern public school methods, as I was, it is a big thing to wrap your mind around the classical model.
It is another thing to realize that the trivium can help you reinterpret areas of growth in your life—as your own interests and hobbies might be blooming into passions and side businesses or full-blown family businesses.
When we are young, especially before we have families, we get feedback from our teachers, parents, and mentors about our areas of talent. We innocently see these talents as tickets to the fast track toward success and fulfillment. We see God open doors and bring opportunities that confirm that these natural inclinations are truly God-given and God-inspired.
However, as life develops the challenges set in and we may become stagnant. Okay, stuck! Years pass and we wonder, “God, why are You not opening doors for me anymore? What was THAT about? Why did You lead me down those paths if I was never going to continue to expand in that area? Why is the road leading me nowhere?”
Maybe you have never been there, but I have, in my late thirties, as my life settled into the routines of family.
I never wanted the cute little house in the neighborhood with the dog, the car, the pool, and the career. I wanted to be out there changing the world for Jesus!
As I have looked at my life through the classical lens of interpreting the way skills and talents develop, I have found that I was blaming God for something so simple.
Did I endure the time it takes to learn all the pieces (the grammar) of that craft, trade, or career? And then, did I boldly step into the dialectic phase in which these pieces are brought together in trial-and-error? Did I persevere in situations where things did not work out in reality the way I expected, not giving up when experiencing failure—regrouping, trying this and that, getting feedback as I tried out my talents in the real world, in real time, with real people? Only then, could I have arrived at a place of fruitfulness with what is sturdy, tried, and true.
I heard His voice gently say to me such things as, “You weren’t willing to suffer through the dialectic stage with that craft because it was uncomfortable and you were scared.”
These conversations with the Lord have brought much peace, not condemnation or regret—a new sense of hope that I really am growing and maturing in all areas of life and that no story is complete. There is good news and new mercies every morning!
This perspective has given me the courage to go back and learn the pieces, to dive in and swim in the unknowns of inevitable criticism, and to persevere so that I will not look back on my life and wish I had stepped up to the plate with the gifts and callings the Lord has given me.
I would love for you to think on this and come back and comment with your own experience. I also urge you to share your story with others in your life, so that they, too, can benefit from this paradigm, not just in educating themselves and their children, but in reinterpreting their own past.