Thirty some years ago, I was in a conference in Chicago where the presenter made a statement that I have never forgotten: I look at every man as my teacher, and I try to discover the lesson he has for me.
I have learned many lessons in my life. Some of these lessons have been easily learned; however, I also have a graduate degree from the School of Hard Knocks.
As I look back on my life, I am aware that I have gleaned some gems through an unconscious assimilation of life principles. Kahil Gabran spoke of this when he said: I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.
I would add to Gabran’s quote by saying: I have learned love from the gift of God’s grace and mercy. The words of Paul in Ephesians 2, shed some light on this: It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin, but God in His immense in mercy and with an incredible love, embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ (The Message).
It didn’t take me long to learn that God’s love, His grace, and His mercy, are much different than the Elvis-impersonator love of the world. There may be the alluring image of dazzling sequins, the glistening black hair, the deep resonating voice, but in the end, well, you’re just “all shook up, a-uh-huh!”
When I stumble and fall flat on my face, God doesn’t toss me overboard; instead, He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. This is quite a contrast from the world, isn’t it?
Are there some wonderful lessons that you have learned from strange teachers? If so, I’d like to hear from you.