Wednesday, September 23, 2009

School in Session

Life is a classroom – school always in session. There are no summer breaks, and you even have to go on the weekends.

Mr. Experience and Ms. Difficulty are the instructors. They are our constant companions, teaching us valuable insights concerning ourselves and others.

At first glance, these schoolmasters appear to be cruel tyrants. Their lessons are difficult and painful. Upon a closer examination, however, we discover that they are often our best friends.

Instead of complaining when trouble comes knocking, why not try looking for the lessons you can glean from it? Seems to me, painful experiences hurt too much to waste. We ought to get something out of them.

I recently visited a friend in the hospital. From the outward appearance, it seemed like life had dealt him a bad deal. He had good reasons to complain – but he didn’t. “I’ve learned to be grateful for every day,” he told me, “I’ve discovered the importance of loving friends, and God is the greatest friend of all.”

Our attitude makes all the difference.

Several years ago, Country Singer, Jimmy Dean was interviewed on Good Morning America. The conversation turned to some of the hardships he had experienced. Dean remarked, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

Are you a good student in the school of life? Are you learning the valuable lessons? Are you on the “honor roll?” Are you learning from Mr. Experience and Ms. Difficulty? What will they say at your parent-teacher conference?

“Life is so unfair!” some protest, “Why do the problems come my way?” Of course, they are forgetting that everybody has problems – it’s a part of life. As long as you’re living, you’re going to have them! As the legendary author, Tolkien remarked, “It does not pay to leave a dragon out of your calculations if you live near him!”

A better question to ask is this: “What can I learn about life, myself and others from this situation? How can I turn my trouble into my tutor?”

May there be enough clouds in your sky to make a beautiful sunset!

In the beautiful words of Helen Steiner Rice:

After the clouds, the sunshine,
after the winter, the spring,
after the shower, the rainbow,
for life is a changeable thing.
After the night, the morning,
bidding all darkness cease,
after life's cares and sorrows,
the comfort and sweetness of peace

Yes, the tests we have to take in the school of life are difficult, but they are preparing us to face the final exam.


  1. I love that post!!! Life is a school....... some people would rather not learn or do their homework. We all suffer for it.

  2. Anonymous10:36 AM

    Being old-timers, my wife and I have often remarked on one fact of life. We have definitely become a stronger, better and closer couple because of the storms we have weathered.