“I am curious. Can you tell me a story of failure or weakness?”
“Yes, there are many for me to choose from.”
As I told stories, I found myself reliving the pain and anguish in each. There are many things that I can see in hindsight. It is easy to think that I would have made different decisions, taken other paths, if I had known. I know that it wistful thinking, but it is also real thinking. In each story I also include the revelations that followed. I did not always learn immediately. Fresh insights are still appearing years later.
“Thank-you for the candor. You seem to always learn from your mistakes. Each has a positive outcome. Is there one without a happy ending?”
I took a deep breath, paused and reflected. The question is one that sits with me still. Are there events in my life that I refuse to learn from? Am I always willing to grow from Life uses as teaching material? I like to think that I understand that Life reveals truth in your story and mine. I also know that I find myself sitting in the morning light with a candid assessment that was originally given by a writer centuries ago. “If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot.” (1 Corinthians 15.19)
In the pause of reflection, a simple story that had an initial ending emerged from my memory. As I told the story of my inability to hear the other, I was filled with regret. The story did not end there. The chapter went on to include how another reached out to me when he had no reason other than the fact that he cared. He walked with me, talked and shared with me, and I was changed. What happened after that is a different story. In this one, another’s gift was my time for hearing God’s voice. I was no hero.
Learning is fun. It is a waste if we do not do something with it.