Mistakes.  We’ve all made them.  Some of mine have been real doozies.  Family and friends can attest to that.  Ideally we learn from them and from the mistakes of others.  But we don’t always pay enough attention to the details of the lesson.  But if you eat crow enough times, you learn how.

Years ago a young man raised in the city visited a farm that used some electric fences to keep livestock in place.  The youngster had never heard of an electric fence, and asked if it would hurt if he touched it.  Assured that “it only hurt a little bit” he gingerly reached out a finger and got a pretty good zapping, much to the delight of his farming relatives.

But the lesson didn’t sink in quite enough; he let himself be convinced if he held the hand of another person who touched the electric fence, he wouldn’t feel it because only the person touching the fence would feel it.  Feeling confident, he grasped the hand of his cousin who then grabbed the electric fence.  Immediately he felt the same hard shock!  It hadn’t made any difference at all!

Try as they might, his cousins could not convince him that if he was the THIRD person holding the hand of a person holding the hand of the person who touched the fence he absolutely would not feel it.   There was no way he would do it.  And he was right.  I can testify as the third guy holding the hand of one older brother who was holding the hand of another older brother who grabbed the electric fence– it shocked!  Sometimes even farm kids learned the hard way.

Unfortunately not all of our mistakes are laughable.  Sometimes even when we honestly goof it results in hurting someone else or ourselves.

I met a young man who was able to live alone and take care of himself adequately, but just barely.  He was in his mid thirties, and had only one disability:  he had fried his brain on drugs.  The most heart-rending part of his story is he is capable of understanding that he is the way he is because of his drug use.  The choices he made resulted in life becoming harder than it might have been.  Now he bravely faces the results of his decisions, and blames no one else.

Today no one knows how to say “I’m sorry.”  No one wants to take responsibility for their own actions.  No one wants to admit their mistakes. Everyone wants to do their own thing no matter what anyone else says.  We have raised a generation of people who are interested in individual rights but don’t understand or know how to integrate their lives and actions into a Free Society.  There’s a fine balance between individual rights and the rights of a Free society.  One watches out for the other.

C.S Lewis said history is “that long, terrible story of Man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”   The Founding Fathers had a good idea of where God should fit into these United States, but our pursuit of happiness became more important than God, Who is the Author of Happiness.

Someone said a genius is one who has heard the Voice of God and is trying desperately to keep up.  I contend that if we seek God and once get a glimpse of Him we will find the experience that will bring true happiness.  Then we will pursue God instead of things and possessions that will not last.