Learning Things the Hard Way

A few weeks ago, two of my girls went outside in the cold of winter and put their tongues on the metal railing on the deck.  They did this even though I have told them that in winter, when you put your tongue on something metal outside, it will get stuck and hurt like crazy once it comes off.  After they did this, both their tongues were bleeding and they were wishing they had heeded my warning.

A few days ago, I was thinking about this incident and thought, “what is it about kids that they have to learn things the hard way?”  Then I realized that I am the same way.  God gives us a clear set of rules that are set for our own good, our own protection, and yet, I insist on learning things the hard way.  Take the s*x before marriage thing, I decided that I knew better and ended up heartbroken, emotionally raw, pregnant, and alone.  I could use all kinds of excuses to justify my decisions, but the bottom line is, I chose a harder road because I thought I knew better than God.  You would think that now that I am a Christian, am a parent, am presumably more mature, that I would not need to go against what I know is right, but I continue to struggle with other things.  I may not be sinning or going against God in the most obvious overt ways like the previous example I mentioned, but I still have so much to learn and seem to do my learning the hard way instead of trusting God.  The Bible references worrying a lot and tells me that God is in control and my worrying will do me no good, but I continue to worry.  Maybe these sins aren’t as shocking, but what about arguing, bitterness, putting cares of this world before God, complaining, not being content with what I have, gossiping, disobeying man’s law’s (in my case, driving faster than the speed limit), envy, not submitting to God’s plan, and I could go on and on about all the sins I continue to commit such as these and I can tell you that nothing good ever comes of them!  Really, even the things that bring me momentary pleasure such as that speeding gets me where I’m going more quickly….eventually catch up to me, like when I get the photo radar ticket in the mail and have to pay the price!!!  God doesn’t set out these guidelines for me to assert His power or just for fun.  They are there for my own good, and yet, I continue to test them and feel the need to discover for myself how much better my life can be if I just give God the control and stop trying to run everything on my own.  So, I guess I haven’t changed much from when I was a kid and had to learn things the hard way.

You seldom see adults running around putting their tongues on metal in the wintertime, but some of the things you do see us doing are really just as ridiculous!  I have heard the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.  I would have to agree!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Deanne on December 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I hear you Sharla! Not sure why we often have to learn things the hard way…over and over. I guess the key is to acknowledge the areas in which we are especially suseptible to doing it our way and instead listen to the voice of wisdom – and avoid the nasty consequences. Poor girls! It give me the shivers to think of it! I hope their poor tongues are healing well.


  2. As a child, I had to learn the exact same lesson as your girls – it was not fun.

    As an adult, I have also wondered many times why I can’t just finally learn that God has my best interests in mind. I have to keep making mistake after mistake, only to finally realize that, just like last time, God’s managing things. I guess becoming a Christian doesn’t add to our brain quotient! I personally live out the definition of insanity.

    Thanks for posting this Sharla. Great food for thought.




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