Soon after arriving in Northern Ireland, our oldest son wanted to learn how to drive. The process was simple. Pay the English pound and receive a large plastic sticker that is imprinted (in red) with a super big letter “L” (Learner). When you see an “L” coming at you, you come to a screeching halt, go into a praying posture and peep through your fingers at the “LEARNER“, taking his half of the road out of the middle. The day after the “L” went on the windshield, I pulled out on a major freeway on the right (the wrong) side of the road. Cars skidded in every direction. Four Irishmen were running toward me, and my only defense was to point frantically toward the “L” on the windshield. The leader of the “lynching party” saw it first, turned and began to holler at the others. “Get back in your car blokes, this ain’t nothing but a LEARNER boy. I made a wide ‘U‘ turn as he jogged along for a moment, directing me with hand motions saying, “You’re doing good there laddie, you’re doing good.”
After making the next hill, I pulled off to the shoulder of the road and had an irresistible desire to rip that plastic “L” right off the glass and stretch it right over my heart. “Just be a LEARNER boy, all of your life!” All degrees and recognitions are inferior to the greatest of all honors of “just being a LEARNER.
Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and LEARN of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 12:29). Paul wrote “I speak in respect of want, for I have LEARNED, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). The Hebrew writer spoke of Christ when he wrote, “Though he were a son, yet LEARNED he obedience by the things that he suffered, and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:8-9).
Andy Rooney has been a LEARNER all his life. While you may not agree with some of his conclusions, his simple logic and straight forward manner is always impressive. Here are some of his learning conclusions.
“I’ve learned that the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an aged person. I’ve learned that when you are in love, it shows. I’ve learned that one person saying to me ‘you made my day’ makes my day. I’ve learned that having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world. I’ve learned that being kind is more important than being right. I’ve learned that you should never say no to a gift from a child. I’ve learned that I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help in some other way. I’ve learned that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with. I’ve learned that sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand. I’ve learned that simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult. I’ve learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end the faster it goes. I’ve learned that we should be glad that God doesn’t give us everything we ask for. I’ve learned that money doesn’t buy class. I’ve learned that it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular. I’ve learned that under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved. I’ve learned that the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can? I’ve learned that to ignore the facts does not change the facts. I’ve learned that when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person to continue to hurt you. I’ve learned that love, not time, heals all wounds. I’ve learned that the easiest way for me to grow as a person, is to surround myself with people smarter than I am. I’ve learned that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile. I’ve learned than no one’s perfect until you fall in love with them. I’ve learned that opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss. I’ve learned that when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock someone elsewhere. I’ve learned that I wished I could have told my dad that I loved him, just one more time before he passed away. I’ve learned that one should keep his words soft and tender, for tomorrow he may have to eat them. I’ve learned that a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. I’ve learned that I can’t choose how I feel but I can choose what to do about it. I’ve learned that when your newly born grandson holds your little finger, that you are hooked for life. I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it. I’ve learned that it is best to give advice in only two circumstances; when it is requested and when it is a life threatening situation.”
Andy, we love you for your simple wisdom and marvelous words. The wise King Solomon wrote, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). What more is there in life than just a be a LEARNER?