God gives us all by right 70 years, or so says the Bible. We can be cheated out of those years, or cheat ourselves with bad living, or because of a better managed government we might enjoy many more than 70. Life is a test, not to show God what we are made of. He already knows, but to show us.
Forgiveness first for others and then for ourselves. For some it is an extremely hard lesson. It’s best to learn this young so we don’t become embittered and contaminate our surroundings.
We must learn to keep our mouths shut and when; and when to open to speak, when to take on a problem and when to let it slide. We can’t fight every battle nor should we fold whenever life gets tough.
We must learn to prepare for the future both physically and mentally, to educate ourselves in the needful, but also in something artistic so we do not become hardened and legalistic.
We must learn the difference between patience and indulgence. Help yes, enabling no, but where is the line?
We will all have grievous times, loss, poverty, disappointment; we will all enjoy times of largesse. We must be sure not to think we are entitled to all of this. We are no more entitled to wickedness than we are to blessings. They simply come with the territory. If you seek Utopia you will be disappointed.
We have a very difficult lesson which usually comes when we are adults – the searing revelation that we have been lied to – big time – a system shock. I read a screed from a young Jewish girl about how the priests had lied, had not recognized Jesus as the Messiah. She was furious. But truth be told, those Jewish priests were in the dark just as much as she. We cannot know the ignorance of others. When we find out we have been deliberately lied to – well that is another matter and we are entitled to be enraged.
We learn to handle death, both of others and our own. Blame never moves the ball forward. In fact, you’ll never be able to enjoy life if you continually blame someone or something else.
You should also learn the self-satisfaction of a job well done. Work in and of itself is not a curse but a blessing especially if you are working for your own benefit or that of someone you care for. That is why government taxes provided for the poor mean so very little and cost so very much.
You must learn to both give and accept graciously. Mama was right; say please, thank you, I’m sorry and if you add Ma’m you will be thought to have good manners as well.
We must learn to be wrong, and to accept our failure. Too much energy is spent in self-justification. Learn from your faults and move on.
We are supposed to know all this before we die, lessons learned at random but essential for a balanced, contended life. Your lesson plan is provided by God. Jeremiah 29:11.