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Learning Again

This is the fourth in a series written by Malcolm Marler and Mary Bea Sullivan, husband and wife, about their journey as Mary, an author, prepares to go to Virginia Theological Seminary.  Malcolm is a director of pastoral care at a hospital in Alabama.

He Said… by Malcolm Lewis Marler

Have you ever had to learn a valuable life lesson more than once?  I have, and I am.

I learned a lesson the first time on January 10, 1982.

I got a call at 5:30 a.m. that jarred me from sleep, “Malcolm, get to the church, the church is on fire.”  I only lived a few blocks from my first full-time church job.  The temperature was 10 degrees below zero in Louisville that day.  I gasped when I saw the huge red sky as I rounded the corner.  I stood and watched the church building burn down.  Every book I had read in seminary, and every note I had taken from 1977-1980 was turned to ashes.  For months, I would reach for files that were no longer there.

And then . . . I eventually forgot the lesson.

I learned something again in March, 1995 when I was going through my divorce and the only thing I took with me were the clothes in my closet and the debt I owed creditors.  I completely started over at 40 years of age. I slept in a sleeping bag for awhile in my one bedroom apartment, embarrassed to invite anyone over.

And then . . . I eventually forgot the lesson and built a house on a lake that could hold more stuff.

Now, I’m learning new lessons as we sell our house with all of our furniture.  But this time I am excited about it.  Well, ok, most of it.

What did I learn that I soon forgot?  Good question. I know it was important.

I do remember that it is easy to write about simplicity.  It’s harder to live it.

Just like faith. Easy to talk about, harder to live.

This time, as I make a positive choice in my life, I hope I will remember what I need to learn.

When did you learn something that you forgot?

Got any tips?  We invite your comments below.

One Response to “Learning Again”

  1. Madeline Grieb says:

    Malcolm, I was working night shift at the hospital and early in the morning we heard about the fire. When I got off work I went by the church. I could not believe the destruction of the fire. But you are right, eventually you forget. Sometimes I remember how the church used to be, but I like the new one also.

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