I was just thinking about lessons learned by accident – little bits of information gathered while in pursuit of something else or in the process of making messes in my personal relationships, professional endeavors, and spiritual/theological decisions.
I learned late in life to be cautious when you eat birthday cake after 20 toddlers have assisted the birthday victim in blowing out the candles. I gained this insight at one of my own toddler’s birthday parties about 30 years ago. The candles were not blown out. They were quenched by the moisture from the neighborhood kids’ mouths.
And speaking of slobber, I learned that a friendly camel will spit in your face when you think it’s just being affectionate. I am sure you are asking, “Andy, do you have a camel in your backyard?” No, but I have been on numerous children’s trips to wild- life parks. On one particular trip, I had to navigate the park, eat meals, and supervise kids and parents while I sported a unique green slime on my white shirt and my hair slicked back with a substance that would rival any hair gel in effectiveness.
I have learned you don’t believe everything you read, hear, and see. Marvin Gaye was right when he sang, “Believe only half of what you see….some or none of what you hear.” I have swallowed stories hook, line, and sinker only to realize later that I had been duped. You’re learned that lesson as well, probably.
The most important lesson I have learned in my almost 62 years of life is that I cannot do life without God. I mentioned in a sermon recently that many criticize people like me saying, “God is a crutch.” It may sound shocking to them but I agree. He is my crutch supporting me when I am wounded. He’s my walker when I need help with next steps. He’s my wheelchair when I am immobilized by fear. He’s my motorized recliner that helps me to get to my feet and stand when I am too weak to do so.
Annie S. Hawks wrote these words many years ago and they express this most valuable lesson which life has taught me:
I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord
No tender voice like thine can peace afford
I need thee, O I need thee; every hour I need thee
O bless me now my Savior, I come to thee.
Let me close with one of those clever bumper sticker, t-shirt adorning slogans that we’ve all heard and seen which I have bought into as truth:
No Jesus….no peace
Know Jesus…..know peace
Now if you don’t mind, I am going to eat some birthday cake with the icing scraped off of it and, if I can find a camel somewhere, I will keep my distance if his lips are puckered.