Author Malcolm Gladwell has popularized the notion of the 10,000 hour rule—the idea that it takes 10,000 hours of practicing a craft, sport, instrument, or profession before one can become an expert in that specific area.
I do not refute this argument. Almost every day that I go for a run I learn something: something about myself, my body, or the world around me. This is amazing because running seems like the simplest of all activities. It is just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. Even our five year old son, Nathan, has mastered that. Part of the appeal of running, for me, is that it does not take a lot of coordination. And yet, I am humbled by the fact that I have so much to learn from this simple activity.
But 10,000 hours? At the rate I am going, it will take me well into my 90s to become an expert runner.
Using this same principle, I should be an expert preacher about a week before my retirement ceremony (or more likely a week after).
I guess I will simply be the lifelong learner.