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.