‘Time in the Word’ By Clayton Adams
Have you ever read the small book of Judges in the Bible? It is a book of great leaders with character flaws and it is full of Meaningless Lessons.
Meaningless Lessons are experiences we fail to learn from. Because we fail to learn from our experiences we are doomed to repeat our mistakes. As the pithy and witted Gore Vidal wrote, “We learn nothing because we remember nothing.” It's a vicious and deadly cycle of meaningless lessons.
The ancient Israelites in the book of Judges start out well despite losing their two great leaders Moses and Joshua. Judah was next in line and he led the Israelites against their enemies. After Judah and his generation died, the next generation failed to learn from their parents and grandparents and it wasn't long before the Israelites were in bondage to others. They failed to remember the previous generations experiences they had many meaningless lessons and they came at the high cost of human lives.
When I was ten years old, I had my appendix removed in an Air Force hospital. After I came home my father asked about my experiences. My father asked me if I learned anything while in the hospital. My response was I much like most ten year olds, “No sir, I didn't learn anything.”
My father asked, “Son, didn't you learn how to make your bed with military corners?” I said, “No sir.” He continued asking, “Didn't the nurses change the bed linen and make the bed everyday?” “Yes sir, they did.” I replied. He asked, “Did you watch them make the bed?” “Yes sir, I did watch them.” I'll never forget his next statement, “Well, you should know how to make your bed with military corners after watching them.”
Then, the nurses made the beds and in the Air Force hospital the beds were made with military corners. Watching the nurses for a few days make the bed was just a daily routine – boring – a meaningless lesson until my father turned it into a purposeful lesson I've never forgotten. I believe our country is in the same cycle as the ancient Israelites we read about in the book of Judges. We have, as a country, turned our back to the Lord, we have failed to put into practice the knowledge and experience from previous generations and are reaping our just rewards.
Because we don't love our neighbors we have racial strife. Because we pursue pleasure we are in debt far beyond what can ever be repaid. Because we do not punish the criminal, crime is rampant. Because we idolize celebrities instead of character we heartily approve or are numb to the vulgar, profanity laced and sexually explicit music, music videos, movies, televisions and the list goes on. We fail to acknowledge God and we are sinking in a sea of filth. God has indeed turned us over to the torturers and those with depraved minds. (Romans 1:28-32) Its been said, “It is necessary to learn from others' mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself.” I've made many mistakes and a good number of them come with very deep regrets, I've disappointed others but the greater disappointment resides within me. In my life, meaningless lessons come with a greater infrequency, I hope.
The more I read the Bible, particularly the Old Testament the better I am recognizing the meaningless lessons of others and applying those lessons into my life.
What are you doing with your meaningless lessons in life?
Clayton Adams has a message of faith he would like to share with the community. He would also like to hear from you. E- mail him a t claytonpadamslll@ gmail. c om.