Thursday, February 10, 2011
The Never-ending Lesson
It’s sort of like how everybody says that being a mother is the hardest job in the world, and you nod and say, of course, of course it is, but you really have no idea what that means until you are lying awake in bed at night wondering how somebody as unqualified for the job as you was allowed to become a mother. And then it hits you, that this is why everybody says that. But at the same time you are thinking, why didn’t anybody tell me it was going to be so hard? I mean, they said it would be hard, but nobody warned me about THIS!
Nobody’s perfect. You learn by doing. You learn from your mistakes. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way. We’re all in this together. I’ve secretly scorned these over-used words. I knew they were true, but I didn’t get it. I was oblivious to the fact that these things I heard over and over again were like cries into the darkness—that people who had been there before me were trying to help me learn it a little sooner than they themselves did. But even though it’s possible to hear a thing once and take it to heart, I think more often we really do have to learn things for ourselves, and (oh, sometimes I hate this part!) we’re all on a different time frame.
I learn about grace because I find I personally need truckloads of it from others. I discover that my children and my students need to hear certain things a million times for the same reason I do—because some things apparently just need to be heard a million, maybe even a million-and-seven, times. I realize that you can’t rush things because the more I rush, the more I stumble. I accept that mistakes and wrong turns are part of the learning process mainly because I’ve learned so much from my own mistakes and wrong turns.
It is all a process. Much grace is needed. I tell myself over and over, and then I forget. The sooner I remember again, the better, but then I have to also remember that these things apply not just to others, but also to myself. That seems to be the main difference between panicking and moving forward from where we are.
So the clichés were all true. The only thing left is to go live out those truths—and learning how to do that, I guess, is a process. Grace to us on our journey.