Chaplain’s Corner


As a student in high school, I kept a notoriously sloppy notebook. Sure, some of it had to do with being a left-hander who dragged his paw across the page, smudging what had just been written and tearing the flimsy loose leaf paper in one deft move.

To make matters worse, teachers didn’t like it when I wrote on the left page rather than reach awkwardly across the binder rings to write on the right side. My solemn vow at the start of each new semester was that this would be the “Year of the Organized Notebook.” But after only a week, the frays and tears would begin.

You know what? I graduated high school anyway, and college, and three different seminaries. Here’s the thing, though: I believe that because I had such a hard time locating and reading the notes I took in class, I came to rely less on note-taking and more on cultivating a memory. What I once perceived to be an embarrassing personal liability, I now view as a peculiar asset.

This is not universally true, of course; different people learn in different ways. It is simply (or not so simply) an observation that sometimes the things that frustrate us are the very things God uses to help us become the people God intends us to be. Think about it. Or, if you prefer, take notes.