A couple of days ago, I visited my daughter’s school for open house. She not only had to see her current teachers but last years as well. It was great to see her take such heart in her relationship with such good people. Teachers do not have an easy job. I would say that they have one of the hardest jobs in our world today. That’s another story.
While we visited with one particular teacher, he told us a cute little story and I warned him that I would probably have to write about it. This teacher happens to take care of animals and reptiles and such; he is nice enough to bring in them into the classroom so kids may enjoy seeing them and learning about them too. As a parent I have deep gratitude for his generosity since this is always my excuse when my daughter asks for another pet: “You have many in your classroom!” Yeah; you guessed right- that doesn’t work.
He told us one day when he picked the gerbil up by the tail, part of his little tail came off. The gerbil was okay but the teacher was not. He felt bad that it had happened and did not know that it would occur. I didn’t know that either. I used to pick my Jack Russel up by grabbing his tail and it certainly didn’t hurt him. For more than obvious reasons there are a lot of differences between pets and I’m sure that Taylor’s teacher was not the first person to make this same mistake.
This past week I was watching a series by Andy Stanley and in one particular segment he spoke about “experience does not make you wiser.” Wow! He’s got some nerve. I thought every morning when I saw wrinkles on my face I could at least be comforted in the knowledge that with age comes wisdom. He threw that out the window. The next thing he talked about really hit home. You only become wise from your experiences if you learn from them and don’t continually repeat your mistakes. Good point.
I can let twenty years go past in a lifetime, go from single to married, married to single, back slidden to reborn again; however, if I don’t evaluate my life decisions, how am I going to stop repeating the same mistakes? Our gossip monster inside evaluates our neighbor, our brothers and sisters, or our friends and criticize before we look at our own lives and find the repetition that prevented us from going much further in our own Christian lives. Oh my goodness! When I heard Andy say this my mind was flooded with some thoughts about myself and as annoying as it was, I knew the Holy Spirit was smacking me upside the head.
So what we have here are two categories of God’s children: we have the category that Taylor’s teacher is in – the learn from our mistake category. I am certain he will never pick another gerbil up by it’s tail. Then we have the second category: all of us (remember none of us are perfect.) This second category doesn’t apply just to drug addicts, cheaters, liars, and so on. It entails those who yell at their husband or those who don’t honor their parents, and those who curse out the slow drivers in traffic.
The best thing about both of these categories is they both are still under God’s mercy. Perhaps you waffle back and forth between categories I don’t know. No matter what – you are still a child of God and no matter – what he loves you. He cares for you as you don’t learn from your mistakes and when you do. Just like a mother and a father he longs to see you grow and learn. It is that personal to him. We need to make it all personal as well. Every single nook and cranny within our lives is visible to him and affects our future. And trust me, if you think you don’t see anything from your past repeating itself that needs some readjusting – pray about it. The Holy Spirit will be glad to notify you.
Christmas is coming and before you know it my daughter will be writing out her wish list to include a hamster, a dog, and a gecko. She will probably add a gerbil to it now too. I hope that you will benefit from the Gerbil “tail” (sorry I couldn’t help myself.) Honestly for me that small bit of irrelevant info on the Gerbil was the second time that God reminded me about the lesson from Andy Stanley. God not only loves us but he gives us multiple notifications! Let’s be honest, constant notifications from God beat Facebook ones hands down.