Life Lesson #247: “Don’t put a premix of gasoline and oil into a four stroke lawn mower engine.”

It’s amazing what you learn through trial and error. This week for example, my daughter learned that two stroke lawn mower engines are the kind where you mix the gas and oil together before you pour the fuel into the engine. Four stroke engines, on the other hand, are the kind that mix the gas and oil automatically.

If you do it wrong, the mower may not start as was the case with her mower.

I’m sure she’ll never do this again. Doing it wrong is often a self-correcting mechanism for people who are willing to learn from their mistakes.

There’s a lot to learn in life and we don’t start out with all the answers. I am amazed sometimes as to the tidbits of wisdom that I’ve learned by living. Living life has a way of teaching sometimes in painful ways.

If’ I had one piece of advice to give to the young and/or immature person who may read this, it’s that they not be so hard headed and sure of themselves that they can’t learn from those who have lived life.

(Disclaimer: Not all young people are hard headed. Not all old people are wise.)

Now, here’s the tip.

Listen up. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Learn from your own mistakes. Pay attention. Acquire wisdom and let it serve you. If you do, it’s surprising how well life works.

I love the way The Message communicates this idea in the first few verses of Proverbs 7. It’s almost like the writer is aiming the proverb at those who don’t listen well.

Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling?
    Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?
She’s taken her stand at First and Main,
    at the busiest intersection.
Right in the city square
    where the traffic is thickest, she shouts,
“You—I’m talking to all of you,
    everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
    You blockheads—shape up!
Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well,
    I’m telling you how to live at your best.

There’s a lot I could say about acquiring wisdom but having humility, a heart that is willing to learn and to apply knowledge, is a good place to start.

Final thought for today? Don’t be a blockhead. Live and learn. (Admit it. Every time you hear the word “blockhead”, don’t you immediately think about Charlie Brown?)

Something to think about.



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