A LESSON LEARNED
“Think before you speak” was words Donna had heard all her life, but it was so
hard to do. Her mind was quick with responses. The words were out of her mouth before she realized what she was saying. She was always the first in the classroom to respond when the teacher asked a question. Sometimes the teacher would say: “Donna let’s give someone else a chance.” She just couldn’t understand why some of the boys and girls were so slow responding when a question was asked. Perhaps these were the ones who waited to ‘think before they spoke’ as her mother and Sunday school teacher was always cautioning her to do.
Donna remembered how upset her best friend had been once when she had blurted out the answer when the teacher had been specifically looking at Mandy when she asked the question.
“You embarrassed me”, Mandy had said. “You know how slow my mind operates. I need time to think and process the information before I can verbalize it.”
She loved her friend and was grieved because of her pain, but she couldn’t retract her words. For awhile she had refrained from answering when the teacher asked a question. She didn’t want her friends to call her “Smarty”.
Earlier while helping the teacher, Donna had noticed her throw an old package of matches in the trash can. Afterward, the teacher had confiscated a rock from a boy that was allowing it to create a disturbance. Walking to the front of the room, she threw it into the trash can.
The class proceeded quietly. The teacher was lecturing while the students listened intently.
Donna had been watching when the teacher threw the rock into the trash can. She thought about the matches. She kept her eyes focused on the can and soon she saw smoke curling out the top. Acting quickly as was her custom, she jumped out of her seat, grabbed the can and ran toward the door leading into the hall. Just as she set the can down in the hall and turned away, it exploded. There had been an aerosol can thrown into the can earlier.
Donna became an instant hero with her classmates. The teacher praised her for her quick thinking as she pointed out to the students the difference in our natural gifts.
No one ever complained again about her rudeness in answering out of turn, or more quickly than her classmates.
In addition to developing pride in her skill of quick thinking, she also learned that gifts are to be used in certain areas of our lives. It doesn’t mean we are supposed to be first all the time, or be a know-it -all because we think quickly.
She is learning to think before she speaks, but to act quickly when there is a need.
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