Everything a Teacher
By Darlene Hight
"Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere."
I have reached the conclusion during the course of my life that the possibilities for learning are absolutely infinite. Often parents believe that they are the teachers and their children are the students, and while this may be true, my children have taught me lessons that I couldn’t have learned otherwise.
I once learned to slow down from my youngest son as we watched an ant. Somehow, laying there on the sidewalk, a two-year-old watching an ant seemed more important than our "hurry up" trip to the corner store.
Lessons from nature, too, are limitless. In God’s Word are many examples of using nature to teach: Psalm 8:3, "When I consider your heavens…" Luke 12:24, "Consider the ravens…" 12:27, "consider the lilies…" Proverbs 6:6, "Go to the ant…" Just to name a few.
Once, I watched a robin carefully training her two young ones the art of locating worms and I learned a lesson on patience and purpose.
My grandson taught me an optimistic outlook changes everything. His persistent, "It’s a great day!" attitude, lured the sun out of hiding one gray flannel blanket, drizzle day. From him, I learned to call things that are not as if they are.
In fact people have taught me so many lessons just by observing their reactions to the world around them. They have taught me about true friendship and the importance of using our spiritual gifts, such as genuine hospitality, mercy and evangelistic zeal. My husband is my instructor in the practice of "true contentment". Whether it is Saturday morning breakfast, a campfire or his garden, he knows how to enjoy the moment.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I once learned a lesson from the 70’s television show, "Kung Fu." In the show, Grasshopper, the pupil, asked, "What must I do to master the art of______?"
The Wise One, the master, had him walk into a lake until it was over his head. When he was allowed to come up for air, the master asked, "When you were under the water, what did you want more than anything?"
Grasshopper answered, "Air."
The master said, "That is how much you must want it."
Often when I am struggling, I ask myself, "Do I want this more than air?" That is my litmus test for prioritizing involvement and activities. If it’s not important, why do it?
Learning is something that makes life interesting and it is highly recommended in Proverbs 18:15 "The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out." (NIV)
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "We learn geology the morning after the earthquake." Life is very much like that. How fast we learn compassion by the absence of it?
Everything and everyone is a valuable teacher if we are willing to learn the lessons that can be gleaned. Whether it is heartache, tragedy, joy or the common place events of life, it is all a potential education for a willing student. Learn your lessons well, Grasshopper.
Darlene Hight is a student of Life in Southern Ohio and would like to take this opportunity to thank all of her many teachers and future teachers. You may write to Darlene care of the Letters page of this magazine.
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