Experience Makes You Who You Are
by 7/01/2007 / Christian Living
My kids were at karate tonight. One of the instructors was talking about why they teach the way they teach. He explained that if you tell a child the right way to break a board with their foot, just telling them wouldn't have the same effect as trying to break a board with your foot the wrong way. Why? Because the wrong way hurts!! Once you do it, you learn by experience the reasons why, how come, etc.
I think it's the same way with life. So often we don't want to go through something, we try to forget something that happened to us in the past, or try to even get ahead in life without realizing that it's the experience of living that life that makes us who we are. We may not have fond memories of a past event, but it still shapes how we see the world, why we react the way we do, and where we are headed.
I think only trying to embrace the good things in our life can potentially be limiting. The bad and painful stuff in our lives sometimes teaches us the most! We would not be who we are without it. Our choices based on those events and experiences mold and shape us whether we like it or not.
I'm currently going through a tough challenge in my life. I don't enjoy the process in the least. Yet I am making the choice to let God use it to strengthen and stretch me in ways that couldn't be done otherwise. I want to learn and grow and better myself because of this challenge that lies before me. And I know that I will look back on this time and see why I had to go through it, how come God allowed me to be sifted in this way, and where He wanted me to head because of it.
Experiencing life can be joyful or painful. We can go through life trying to pave our own way without acknowledging why we are meant to do something OR - we can listen to what the whispering of experience in our life is trying to tell us and change our direction accordingly.