"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Monday, April 5, 2010

Life's Little Lessons

It was several years ago, now that I learned a couple lessons that I told myself I would hold onto for the rest of my life. I just knew they were something that would be put to good use in more than one way; maybe even a multitude of ways.

My family was having a reunion down at the city park. We had relatives visiting from all over the United States. I’m not sure how many were in attendance, but I would guess about 75 people. During all the excitement of catching up, eating, and photo ops, we soon realized that one of my nephews was missing. I don’t remember for sure how old he was; 5 or 6 I think. But it was very unusual for him to disappear like that. We went into full search mode. I walked down toward the water. This is when Independence Point was still new and I had not been down there yet to see all the changes. I stopped to ask a gentleman if he had seen a little boy and I proceeded to describe my nephew to this man. He hadn’t seen him, but was very willing to help me and offer some advice. He started walking with me. We came almost to the end of the sidewalk and I started to turn around, convinced my nephew would have gone no further. This gentleman wouldn’t let me turn around. He told me, “No, let’s go a little further.” I thought it was a bit odd, but he some how convinced me we needed to keep going, but without telling me why. All of a sudden there were the steps that led down to the lake. I had no idea these changes had been made and I was shocked when I came to the end of the grass and sidewalk and saw these steps where a child could easily walk down to the water. Had things been the same as when I was a kid, my nephew would not have been able to get to the water from this spot. The gentleman didn’t say anything but just looked at me like he wanted to say, “See why I wanted you to go all the way to the end?” We looked around and yes, viewed the water as best as we could until we were convinced someone would have seen him had he fallen into the lake here. I thanked the gentleman and went back to my family. When I arrived at the gazebo, I learned that my nephew had been found. I asked my sister what had happened. She said, “He saw the float planes and wanted to go see them…so he did.”

Anyway, he was safe; and I learned a couple of lessons. What did I learn? Know your subject. My nephew loved airplanes! If we would have stopped to really think things through, that might have been the first place we went to look. Knowing his love of airplanes, and the close proximity of the float plane dock, we should have looked there first. If one will stop to consider all aspects of the personality one is dealing with, it will help in any situation. Knowing who a person is will tell you so much.

The other important lesson: To always follow through completely to the very end…on any matter. To simply search as deep and as far as one has to go to find what one is looking for. I knew these were lessons I would use again.

Fortunately, I haven’t had to use them to find someone who was lost, but they have been coming to my mind recently because of the last Presidential election and the mid-term elections that will be taking place in November. The candidates are all trying to put their best foot forward for the primaries that will be taking place in May in our state. It’s difficult sometimes to know just who should get ones vote. Usually the party I favor is a pretty safe bet, but when it comes to the primaries and the candidates are of the same party, I want to be sure I make the right choice.

The principles I learned that summer, can easily apply to electing candidates. Get in and really find out who your candidate is. Check out his voting record. Check on-line for news stories that might have been printed about the candidate either before or after he announced his campaign. If he or she says he is a Christian, check out what faith. With whom does he associate? Something really important to check is: who his campaign supporters are. Who has thrown money his way? Dig as deep as you have to go - or even deeper - to make sure you know all you need to know about your candidate of choice. Then when you have learned all you can, think about just who he really is and how he will represent you. If he loves airplanes, you will most likely find him at the airport.

Ok, Ok, so you don’t like my political analogy. Well here is one more thought on how my summer lesson might be applied. How about questions of faith? We have an excellent resource for matters of faith: the Bible. How often do we get in and really dig to learn all we can about a certain matter? How far do we go when we are seeking an answer to one of life’s questions? It isn’t really meant to be that complicated, is it? We have a road map to follow…to take us to life’s end. And when we really seek out and get to know the main subject - the One that has drawn that road map, a lot of questions will be answered. When one knows the Person, understands His character and follows His actions, one cannot easily be misled. On those tough questions that never seem to have an answer, getting to know personally the One that is the answer, can make those questions so much easier. We don’t have to stay lost. We don’t have to remain confused…we merely need to know the One whom we are seeking and follow through right to the very end.

I don't know; I bet one can find a number of ways to use the lessons I learned the day my nephew was lost. I really don't know why that man took the time to teach me that day....maybe just because it was something he had learned; and he knew at that moment I needed to learn it too. I am glad he was willing to share it. I was thankful for the lesson then, and I have been thankful for it in a number of ways ever since. I guess I too, just wanted to share some of the little lessons that make up life.

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