My Thoughts. . .
In my last semester in college I needed a few credits to graduate. So, I picked out a class to supply my needs, which hopefully would not require a lot of “homework.” It was the professor’s last year to teach his psychology class. The required reading would be from an unusual source: Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer.” In the first meeting the professor touted “Tom Sawyer” as the best book on the subject because it was presented in a simple, straight-forward way. I was reacquainted with “Tom Sawyer” and the professor presented him in a different light. Of all my classes in those four years, that class was more informative, and I never once nodded off nor skipped a class. I was not alone in my enjoyment of that Tuesday and Thursday study.
If I had not needed those credits to graduate, I would never have taken that class. I had already read “Tom Sawyer.” Who uses Mark Twain’s material for a college textbook? How does THAT book fit in with the subject of psychology? I thought the entire subject was a joke, but I needed the credits. Isn’t it amazing how life throws something at you which helps rather than hinders? Would you call that “the providence of God”?
When I was growing up, from time to time my mischief would end with mother displaying a switch and telling me to “bend over.” Before that switch did its best to drive the devil from me, mom usually stated, “This is going to hurt me more that it does you.” I thought she was crazy. How could that be true when I was on the receiving end?
As I grew older and became a parent, I gained some of my mother’s wisdom. I regret not allowing more of that wisdom to sink in. Although “switching” hurt, I desired it rather than “a good talking.” Whip me twice, but do not pull out a chair and tell me to sit down and listen to a ten- or fifteen-minute lecture! A switching stung, but it was over after a few swift strokes. Talking? It seemed to be eternal. If your responses were not correct, the talking went into another endless eternity. Without knowing it at the time, both kinds were shaping my future.
“Discipline your son in his early years while there is hope. If you don’t you will ruin his life” (Proverbs 19:18 TLB, also Cf. Proverbs 22:6, 15; 23:13-14; 29:15, 17).
We all make mistakes. Most are regretted. Yet even those are teaching pearls, that if understood, will reward our future rather than drowning us in it. People we meet, places where we live and work, problems introduced and solved, our reaction to daily hinderances, and the decisions we make are steppingstones that can either build our future or rip it apart. Daniel did “jail time” but he used it to enhance his future. Few if any have a smooth sailing through life. It is how we deal with those potholes that determines the kind of outlook we develop in living our tomorrows.
Peter told Jesus that the Lord could depend upon his support. He attempted to demonstrate it by cutting off Malchus’ ear. Others might deny Jesus, but not Peter. However, one question from a slave girl and his defenses crumbled and cursing poured freely from his lips to seal that denial. Yet even this reaction was a steppingstone to greater service in the Lord’s kingdom.
We needed those “paddling” times or “talks” to help us grow up and faced the future. What seemed bad at one time produced gratitude at another because it sent us in the right direction.
(My apologies. I was ready to paste this “Thought” Monday but an interruption caused me to forget. -RH)