The school of life teaches many things and what we may learn is the tests are ongoing. Just when we think we have learned a lesson well and passed a trying test…along comes another one.
What I have learned mostly is that the tests are repeated until we finally get it. If we don’t get it, we don’t move on and sometimes may even be put back.
The tests are so varied and valuable that it is only when we have finally learned a lesson being drummed into us that we make the grade to a higher degree of life’s education.
Where are you on life’s report card? Is that A+ or 100% showing up in your life or do you have a few more tests to take…or repeat?
As for me…the tests have been trying indeed and much has been learned. Am I close to graduation? All I can say is after eighty years in the school of life I’m getting ready to cram for the finals.
Sometimes we have to truly seek out the truth of something in order to learn a lesson of great value. This holds true for the following song. There (in my opinion) is truth in every word and the words and truth paint a beautiful picture of life. This song was posted on Facebook this morning, followed by other fine words found in Ecclesiastes. Enjoy and learn.
Here is what I learned from Dr. Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries, on February 19th. He said, “You’re young and useful at any age if you’re still planning for tomorrow.”
Some of the ways to plan for tomorrow begin with a capital L.
Learning…learn something new every day; I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; Psalm 32:8
Loving…love is the best feeling in the world; 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 says it all.
Laughing…laughter is having an internal massage; A cheerful heart is good medicine…Proverbs 17:22
Leaving…your past behind. Don’t live with your junk. (Dr. Stanley)
Longing…long to know your purpose in life and then fulfill it. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)
Looking…your best. You feel your best and do your best when you look your best. (Dr. Stanley)
Labouring…working…You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Psalm 128:2 NIV
Leaning…on the Lord…Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5
Listening…to God…Whoever has ears, let them hear. Matthew 11:15 (NIV)
These are just a few of the ways we can live with a capital L. It’s what I learned on February 19th.
While cleaning out old files I came across this internet printout from 2005 called Life’s Lessons. Of course, I’m all about life’s lessons which is probably the reason I printed it and kept it. I’m going to share over the next few days. Here is number one.
Kindness Counts – During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired, and in her 50’s, but how could I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. “Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘hello’. I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy
Today, (I’m writing this on Sunday evening), I was challenged to take our choir’s anthem, “What Does the Lord Require?” and blog about it. The song comes from a scripture: Micah 6:8: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
So, here’s the challenge. How about if we ask what we require of each other.
Would we not require justice as defined in the Mirriam-Webster dictionary: the quality of being just, impartial, or fair.
Would we require kindness? Wikipedia says this about kindness: Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others.
And if we don’t believe in walking humbly with our God, would we not at least want to walk humbly with each other? I experienced walking humbly in Whistler just over a week ago when due to deep snow and icy conditions, my steps were guided by my daughter and daughter-in-law, one on either side of me.
Walking humbly with each other takes on the characteristics of protecting from hurts, offering comfort, being supportive, forgetting self while uplifting others…these are just some of the ways we can walk humbly with others.
Today I was required to accept a challenge and it makes me happy to know that there are many ways to look at words, whether they are in a song, sermon, scripture or sentence, and humbly learn a lesson from them. Are you up to the challenge of doing justice, loving kindness and humbly walking with your God or your fellow people? I believe that most people do so on a daily basis…and those who don’t?
Peter, Paul, and Mary’s hit song of 1962, “Where Have all the Flowers Gone” came on my music channel today. It brought tears to my eyes realizing that in all these years we still haven’t learned.
We haven’t learned to stop the killing…killing of our fellow human and killing of our environment. We haven’t learned to forgive, or how not to carry a grudge. We haven’t learned to love unconditionally, to pray without ceasing. We haven’t learned to say “I’m sorry” and mean it, nor have we learned that doing nothing to reconcile a situation is the same as promoting war instead of peace.
Most people who write these kinds of songs are thinkers, and in their own way are reaching out to the world through their words. But is the world listening? When will we ever learn, oh, when will we ever learn?
Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful. Titus 3:1
“Birds of a feather flock together”. This is a quote that has been around for years, no, centuries. I take it to mean that the same kind of creature prefers the company of its own kind.
This post is about birds but also about the human experience. This morning I woke up feeling a little unsettled with myself…feeling as though my life is not meeting God’s expectations…and wondering just how I am going to remedy that. It was one of those moments where one feels unworthy for whatever reason; not just in God’s eyes but in the eyes of friends and family.
So, I took my feelings to my “prayer chair” which overlooks a garden containing a bird bath, feeder, flowers, and trees. Within minutes the yard was filled with birds. These were not “birds of a feather”. There was a blue jay and a cardinal sitting together on the fence. There were sparrows and a yellow finch quenching their thirst together. A red-headed woodpecker seemed to be teaching his youngster how to get this job done, when the mom showed up and joined in. Two mourning doves were doing their thing on the garage roof; you know what doves are like, billing and cooing all over the place.
There were two birds I didn’t recognize and had never seen before. They were a brownish yellowy color with a touch of orange or red on the back of their heads, and when they spread their wings to fly their backs were all white. I’ll look them up later.
Now I marveled at all this, especially when the cardinal and blue jay came and rested on my deck railing. I was in awe and wondered out loud why I was being treated to such a spectacular show of nature. It’s over now. There’s not a bird in the yard.
This whole scene helped to lighten my mood but the clincher was this. It was time for my daily devotional and when I opened my Bible, this is what I read in Luke 12:24 “Consider the ravens; they do not sow or reap…yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds.”
Birds of a feather? I was happy to see so many different species of feathers this morning, and happier still to receive the message they brought.