Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review: Life Lessons

God loves you just the way you are,
but he loves you too much to let you stay that way
-- Patrick Madrid
A few years back I wrote a letter to one of my Godchildren on his graduation from college.  I offered him a handful of lessons I had learned in life, in hopes he might not have to learn them the hard way, as I did, and also in hopes he might not forget some of the more important lessons his parents had taught him --- as I did.
For every good lesson learned, there must be a good teacher.  For most of us, that good teacher was our parents, and for some particular lessons perhaps it was God Himself, through His Spirit or His Word.  Patrick Madrid doesn’t focus on the teacher of lessons in this book --- although he does imply that in some cases he thought he needed no teacher at all (as do many young people, even today).  He did learn, however, how foolish a man is who has himself for a teacher.
Patrick gives 50 examples of the lessons he learned in life, and not a few the hard way.  In some cases he admits how his ego (or sometimes his youth) prevented him from seeing matters clearly.  And in some cases, he admits how he hurt people because of his vain stupidity.  But through his words he explains clearly how and what he learned, and why it was an important lesson.
I cried as I read some of Patrick’s stories, because they were my stories.  I cried in happiness remembering how I learned similar lessons, and then I cried in sadness as I recalled the people that I had hurt along the way, and how stupid I was in my youth.  Life is a lesson.
For old people, this is a book of remembrances; for the young it will give pause and (hopefully) reflection.  And for the very young, many thoughts here might be totally new, and perhaps this book can serve as a teacher for them.  It would be a good one.

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