In education, we often use a KWL chart with the children to begin a new unit. As a group, we determine what we already Know, what we Want to know, and after careful study, we add what we have Learned. Once we finish a unit of study, we move on to another chart.
I can’t help but wonder if life is merely a series of learning experiences, much like the lessons that I design. I think about the Master Designer of Life Lessons and I think about how He picks out which lessons He wants to teach me. I think about the fact that He has allowed me Free Will, but yet I don’t seem to have choices about what classes I am enrolled in.
We are coming up to the Anniversary of the worst day of our marriage: April 15th. Three years ago my husband was left alone, humiliated, broke, wondering who he could trust and who he couldn’t. Real Life 101 was not a class that he chose to be a part of, yet he was enrolled. What he learned was not what he wanted to know. He learned that employees can always be replaced and that people are cruel. He learned that when things get tough in Real Life 101, there is only one thing you can count on, and that is the instructor. He needed to hit his knees, recognize his creator, and focus his eyes on the one and only thing that would remain constant. The fact is that he may never get the apology he deserves from his employers, coworkers, and customers that let him down. He may never hear from the community members and friends that he thought would lift him up during a time of hardship. Some people may never come along side of him by visiting, encouraging, and caring for me, as things get worse. However, one thing he can know for certain is that he has a Heavenly Father who adores him and me, and He won’t ever leave us to fail. Perhaps our biggest lesson has been to refocus and truly lie at the feet of our Almighty, trusting that He will care for our needs. I never thought we’d be so destroyed in order to learn such a lesson. Perhaps like the military, we needed to be torn down in order to be built back up, as barbaric as that seems.
Recently, we observed something similar happen to a friend. We were left at a loss for words, because we do know EXACTLY how he feels. I fear that Real World 102 has a syllabus that includes showing others how they should treat others in the throws of the lessons of Real World 101. My prayer is that my husband and I show kindness, offer encouragement and help where it is needed. Most especially, may we BE THERE. Perhaps we needed to experience the extreme pain and loneliness in order to be what we need to be to others forced to take the course. I have a Master’s Degree and have been an instructor of little ones for 25 years, and this is by far the most difficult course taken or taught. May I do and say all the right things.
Recently I had a conversation with one of my children, who said that the best instructors are the ones who have “been there and done that”. I can only hope that our experiences make me a better instructor, but more importantly, human being. May I treat others the way that my husband should have been treated. May I remember that we are all enrolled in the courses of Life until our last day on earth, whether we want to be or not. We are simply in different places on the syllabus.