To stop thinking linearly
In August of 2009 my sister and her family came to visit me. Well, not just me, but it sounds better that way. And following our normal pattern of life, we were up late talking. She began to tell me about her church-planting class and something that absolutely changed her entire way of looking at life. She hooked me.
She went on to explain that the Greek mindset is to think in one straight line. You're born, you live, you die. Fairly straight forward and few can argue with that since it is the path that we take in life. But it has repercussions on how we see our relationship with God. If you're in a Greek mindset, or a linear way of thinking, you think that you only have one pass at things. Similar to if you're driving in a car and drop a banana peel out the window, it stays where it is at and you keep moving. This is where sayings like "you missed your chance" could come from (I can't say for certain as I haven't done any research and these facts are all second-hand). It is a very fatal way of thinking.
Counter that way of thinking with a Hebraic circular mindset. In the Hebrew way of thinking life is in cycles and you keep going around in the cycle until you get what it is that you dropped on the first round, or second or thirty-sixth round. You keep going around the mountain because life is a process. And in this way of thinking you are never done learning or achieving and you continue to attempt to better yourself and the world around you. It is why I am always learning a new level of patience.
The difference is clear and simple, in the Greek mindset you earn a badge and ta-dah you are done with that learning experience: been there, done that. And in the Hebraic, you have been there, and you'll do it again only you'll do it a little differently and expect to do it again. It views life as a process, not a destination.
It is a relief for me to have my eyes opened to this way of thinking because it means that I don't have to do life perfectly. I don't have to constantly be worrying about that missed opportunity because God, if He wants me to, will provide a way to experience, learn or deposit that piece. It allows me to see life as a work in progress.