Monday, September 10, 2012

"There is no better time to learn"

This past weekend, Wes and I attended a play that my nephew was in.
It was great fun!
The play was called, Willy Wonka Jr.
I think this was because all the parts
were played by children. 
The play reminded me
of all the funny little phrases
that Mr. Willy Wonka would say.

Things like:

"So much time, and so little to do! Wait a minute.
Strike that, reverse it."  

"There are little surprises around every corner,
but nothing dangerous"

"You should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about"

"The suspense is terrible... I hope it will last"
And then there is this one...
Augustus Gloop (which is the part of nephew Adam played), loves chocolate.
When he discovers the chocolate river, he can not hold back.
Although he was warned, he begins to drink from the chocolate river.
Next thing you know,
he falls into the river.
His mother yells, "He can't swim!"
To everyone's dismay, Mr. Willy Wonka says,
" There is no better time to learn."
Although this is a terrifying truth, it is true all the same.
I know, you are probably wondering, "Where is she going with this stuff today?"
So, here is how my brain is processing this little bit of wisdom:
Whether I want it or not,
when I go about doing things I have been told
are not good for me and might harm me,
I better understand that the outcome is a lesson I will never forget.
Not only that, but undoubtedly there will be consequences as well.
Usually, the kind that are long lasting and possibly irreversible.
The thing is, I am not much different than poor little Augustus.
There are things that I get myself into that seem harmless at first.
What could it hurt?
Hmmmm, I feel a Bible story coming on....
Oh yes, Mama Eve. Remember her?  (Genesis 2-4)

My dear friend Tami talked about her last week in Women's Ministry.

Eve was the first in a long line of humans to decide
that what she wanted would not hurt anyone, including herself.
She did not listen to the wisdom of one that had her best interest at heart.
She went with her desire and the rest is history, literally.
Did she learn from her choice?
I think she did.
Unfortunately, it was a hard, heart-breaking lesson.

My friend Tami, pointed out that 
Eve was the first to:
Experience the pain of childbirth
Have a son who was a murderer
Lose a son to murder
Experience a son being banished and cursed  
Bury a child
All of these things were consequences of a choice.
Did she learn from her choice?
Do we learn from ours?
I guess the sad thing is that we humans never change.
We are still trying to figure out how to get what we want,
no matter what.
Is it possible to learn without experiencing the pain, suffering and loss?
So why don't we?

We are a self-centered, self-reliant, self-assertive, selfish people
We need wisdom and a Shepherd
to guide us and keep us from doing stupid, selfish things.
There really is only one way out of any mess I get myself in:
I cry out to God
I confess my sin
I willingly live with the consequences, if He chooses me to do so.
I gratefully live with the grace, if He chooses to shield me from consequences.
I  accept whatever happens due to my choices, knowing that my Shepherd will do whatever is best for me. 
I understand that no matter what, He loves me and will do what it takes to mold me and break my stubborn selfish spirit. 
Thankfully, my guide is very different than Mr. Willy Wonka.

Psalm 37:23-26
The steps of a man are established by the Lord;
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong;
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
I have been young, and now I am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Or his descendants begging for bread.
All day long he is gracious and lends;
And his descendants are a blessing.  


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