Life is a succession of moments, to live in each one is to succeed- by Corita Kent

Learning From The Experience – By LC DeVine

Life gifts us with all kinds of experiences. Some make us feel happy such as when we were kids and learned to ride our bikes. Those happy and proud feelings only came after the frustration and nervousness of falling off the bike many times. It took determination to learn to hold the handlebar and direct it where you wanted to go. It took determination to learn how to manage the curves. To bravely learn how to stop with the pedal and follow our instinct of when to use our feet to keep from falling. The great thing is once you got it, YOU GOT IT! And that “got it” stays with you a lifetime. We do not have to relearn how to ride a bike because we learned through the experience.

Life also teaches us through negative experiences. I remember such an experience as a very young child that has prevented me from smoking all my life. I must have been about 5 or 6 years old. My sister Brenda, who was only a year older than me had us go behind our house to smoke. I thought we were going to smoke a cigarette. But, it turned out that Brenda wanted to experiment with a brown paper bag. I did not know any better and wanted to do what my big sister was doing. My sister tore a small square shape piece from the bag rolled it up, took a match, and lit it. She blew the fire out, put it to her lips, and puffed. She then passed it to me. However, as soon as I put it to my lips the red burning edges had traveled to the ends and burned my lip. I recall it was painful. I have a scar on my bottom lip which is a daily reminder of that experience. Up until this day, I have never tried to smoke another cigarette or anything.

This experience had one effect on me and another on my sister. I learned to be very cautious with what I do. However, my sister seemed to have throw caution to the wind and struggled with many addictions throughout her life until the day they found her body hidden among trash in an alley. I cannot say with 100% certainly that our shared experience was the pivotal moment that turned us in the directions we went. I can say for me the experience has left an indelible impression about smoking and influenced my opinion about all drugs. Learning through the experience.

All experiences are not as dramatic as those. Some are simple, or minor, or accidents that cost you money. The other day Akili went to a car dealership and found out a warranty he was paying on was not accepted there. In his haste to leave he bumped his truck into a pole. You can imagine a few choice words he said to himself. This negative experience brought about a few interesting situations. It forced him to get a needed repair on the truck. It changed a situation where others depended on him for transportation to work and showed him how God’s power is moving in his life. Learning through the experience.

Life gifts us experiences every day. I believe your attitude affects how you experience the EXPERIENCES. Each experience allows you the opportunity to grow. To become stronger, wiser, and a better person.