“Don’t touch that, it’s hot” my mom said as she pulled out a fresh tray of cookies from the oven – yet immediately I started thinking “I wonder how hot it really is? It’s probably not that hot. I think I’ll just see for myself just how hot it is.” You would think that nursing my badly burned fingers in a bowl of ice and suffering for a week while the blisters came and went would have been enough to teach me a lesson…but unfortunately for me I was stubborn as a pack mule which meant I had to learn a lot of life’s lessons the hard way. I made a lot of mistakes growing up that could have been totally avoided if I would have just been willing to trust the people God placed in my life to watch out for me.
As I’ve grown older and wiser in my life I’ve tried to be open in telling people what a mistake it was for me to learn things the hard way in hopes of inspiring them to be smarter than I was and be willing to learn things the easy way.
There are two ways we can learn – there is the easy way or the hard way – and take it from someone who has done far too many things in life the hard way…the hard way is never worth it. Not only does it bring unnecessary pain into your own life, it inevitably ends up hurting people you love in the process and seeing those you love hurt is the worst kind of hurt to bear.
I will freely admit that taking the easy way presents its own set of difficulties – it takes a tremendous amount of humility to be willing to learn from the mistakes of others. It often takes serious self-reflection and a willingness to see beyond our own sphere of thinking. And as in my story about the hot pan of cookies, it takes being willing to have the patience to wait for something you truly want to be safe to touch. And all of these qualities of humility, self-reflection, an open mind, and patience (especially the patience part for me) take a conscious decision on our part to have and they don’t always come naturally. And the fact we call this path the “easy way” tells you just how difficult and painful the “hard way” must be.
I’m grateful to have reached a point where I would rather learn the easy way than the hard way. Life is so much happier without burned fingers 🙂
Have a great day.
~Amy Rees Anderson