Early in our marriage, Bernice had a chat with me about my bathroom behavior. I thought it was fine but she thought otherwise. She explained that I pretty much always left water all over the place – on the counter, on the mirror, and sometimes even on the floor. The amazing things is, I didn’t see it.
I just did my bathroom business and then took off without any thought of the condition I left the bathroom in. Which now I see was inconsiderate, unloving, and just plain rude.
So she had a chat with me. And you know what she said? The same thing my mom and dad had said to me when I lived in their home. “David, clean up after yourself.” You think I would have learned that long before I got married…
I Needed to Look and Learn
Now I could have just ignored what she said, but instead I chose to make a change in my behavior as a way of loving Bernice more than I was and taking another step in becoming the person that God wanted me to be. Now I’ll admit… I still have to remind myself to clean up the bathroom when I’m done. But I’ve come a long way from where I started.
That chat impacted me. It got me to look and learn.
It’s been said, there are 3 ways to learn: the easy way, the hard way, and the tragic way. The easy way learns from other people’s positive or negative experiences. Which is something you can do right now by manifesting better bathroom behavior than mine.
Learning something the hard way is how I learned bathroom etiquette. It was an up-close and personal experience. I was confronted about something in my life that needed to change. Firsthand positive or negative experiences can teach you a lot and make you a better person.
It becomes tragic when we haven’t learned from the experiences of others or from our own mistakes and the input of others. We then remain stuck in our issues and often end up causing a lot of pain for ourselves or others.
Two Essential Ingredients
The Lord is deeply interested in our learning. He wants to see us grow and mature and become more loving in our relationship with God and with others. Looking and learning are essential ingredients for becoming better people than we now are.
This past Sunday my message was focused on Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:16 where Solomon shared some of what he learned the easy way. He had looked at and learned from the experiences of others. What he saw taught him several things, like the importance of continually learning, throughout our lives.
Always Looking, Always Learning
We need to be always looking and always learning. Like Paisley, our two-year old grand-daughter. Paisley has a very inquisitive mind and is very active. All of life is an adventure to her. An opportunity to discover and wonder and wander. “What’s that, grandpa?! Can I try it? How does it work?”
No matter how old we are, we have God’s permission to look and to learn. In fact it’s His desire for us – to see the wonder of life through the eyes of a two-year old. If we will walk through our days intentionally looking and learning, we will continue to move toward becoming the people God longs for us to be.
by Dave Gudgel