I looked around the bleak railroad station, as my mother placed a box full of kitchen utensils, and an ironing board at the window for shipping to our new home in Oakland.
The first five years of my life, my dad had not enjoyed a permanent job. He worked for a rancher tending his orchard, picked fruit, and later cleared brush up in the mountains for the WPA.
My Uncle Clarence had encouraged Dad to come to Oakland for a job interview at the Southern Pacific Railroad where he worked. What anticipation for a new life we hoped to experience as a family when Dad was hired as a switchman for the railroad!
If Dad needed extra money (which was often) he had the opportunity to work on the extra board, which required 8 hours work and 8 hours off, in a revolving schedule. Mother would place a sign on the door that read “Day Sleeper, Do Not Disturb.” This was to discourage the door to door salespersons that frequented our neighborhood.
One day I decided to play “Sales Lady,” and not yet being able to read, I rang the doorbell repeatedly. Finally the door opened and it was my dad who gruffly growled, “What do you want?” Hesitatingly I blurted out, “I was just playing sales lady.”
Realizing what I had probably woke him up, I was frightened! I began to sob profusely with huge tears rolling down my face.
His heart melted! He opened wide the door, took me in his arms assuring me that all was forgiven, and suggested that I play quiet games when he was asleep. Needless to say, I did not ring the door bell anymore or play sales lady after that episode.
Isn’t it strange how we can learn some lessons in life more easily than others? Often without actually getting hurt. Shocked, maybe, and even brought to tears, but soon the lesson is over and we automatically resume our daily duties.
Not every thing I have learned through the years has been effortless and trouble-free. Certainly, much study and preparation is necessary for a career or whatever lines of work a person decides to follow. However, the lessons learned through mistakes are most difficult. Not always can our mistakes simply disappear and go away. The fruit of many mistakes will follow us through our entire life.
So what am I saying? Learn quickly what to avoid and what not to repeat. Place your faith in Jesus and follow Him. The Holy Spirit is the perfect teacher and guide to show us the best course for our life.
If you have made mistakes, understand that all is not lost. Your route may now be different than you at first anticipated, but even that pathway can be a glorious itinerary with Jesus as your leader. God does not run out of plans, take plan B, or C or even plan Z.
God never sleeps, night or day, and His mercies are new every morning. He is always there to put his loving arms around you to forgive and to cheer you on to success!