Learning While We are Young
Last week, I had an experience I never considered would ever happen to me especially at my “young” age: I had cataract surgery. I had this delusion like so many that cataract surgery and hip and other joint replacements happen to older people. When my optometrist told me I had a cataract, I told him I was too young. He said, “I know you are; you are my age.”
After much discussion into my history, he determined that the cataract was probably the result of a childhood injury. This got me to thinking. The injury to my eye happened well over 40 years ago. Isn’t it amazing that something that had happened so far back in my life could have such an impact now? Over time, that long-forgotten childhood injury made its presence known in my life today.
What childhood trauma (or trauma that happened last week) is affecting your present? What past boo-boo is making its mark on your life today? It can be hard to put the past behind us when it keeps making its presence known, but let me share some examples of people with pasts that might help you to go a little easier on yourself.
Peter denied Jesus—even though Jesus had told him that it was on him Jesus would build his church. Joseph’s brothers were saved by Joseph—even though they sold him into years of slavery. Before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, the apostle Paul was personally responsible for the deaths of many believers. Jesus was born into the house of David, the family line of a king who committed adultery and then tried to cover it up with murder. Each of these men had an ugly past but God took that ugliness and worked it to his goodness—just like my childhood injury eventually led me to surgery and much better vision.
No one lives perfect lives and we all have those things we did as kids we hope no one ever learns, but our past is responsible for making us who we are today. It is the experiences of years-old failures and successes that have formed our opinions on issues, our physical appearance, and most of all, our spiritual stance. Which brings us to the question: What in your past is affecting the person you are—or could be—today?
We also need to remember that we are not on this journey alone. We have the ability to help others to have good lives to look back on or to hurt them so badly that we leave scars that could last for years. This is especially true with our children. We can all relate stories of people in our lives who caused a life experience to be good or bad, an experience that made an impact on our later lives. As last week’s blog pointed out, people are always watching how we live, especially our children.
Our children need to hear the truth, the whole truth, while they are young so they can make the right decisions. I didn’t listen to my parents but rather did my own thing which is what led to the accident that damaged my eye. Just as a small injury can change a life later on, so can a small comment, a word of encouragement, and the truth about God make a big difference in our young people. I pray today that you will choose to be that positive force in someone’s life.
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