Mistakes that Lead to Learning

The July 2, 2010 USA Today headline read, “After seeking help, Cabrera sees his life swing in positive direction” and below the story was told of how Major League Baseball player Miguel Cabrera life had changed.  Nine months earlier, Cabrera had been jailed after a night of heavy drinking and when he was released sought help for his addiction.  In the article he says, “I learned so much from my mistakes.”Oops Sign As I read this article, I realized that his comments were true in my life as well.  I did not have a drinking problem but I learned the same way Miguel did…through my own mistakes, I learned the best.  The failures, the struggles, the crashes taught me what NOT to do.

I was at least 40 years old before I discovered that I did not have to touch the hot stove to know that it would burn me.  In my 20’s and deep into my 30’s, wise counselors would tell me to avoid something or to not do something and I would listen but often think, “That doesn’t apply to me or “That consequence won’t happen to me.”  And before I knew it I had burned the fire out of my hand!!  These “burns” were manifested in relational failures, financial struggles and emotional crashes.

But these mistakes got my attention and caused me to change my ways.  They also caused me to not just seek the counsel of others but to actually heed it.  To apply what I was taught to change my life and avoid pitfalls.  Don’t get me wrong, I still make LOTS of mistakes but the consequences are not nearly as grave.  I have learned to quickly adjust when I feel the heat – heat that comes mostly through consequences and the Word of God.

What about you?  Do you have the same learning style as Miguel and I?  What are some of the lessons you have learned through your mistakes?