May 15, 2021

Pastoral Nuggets: 5 Life-lessons we can learn from Humpty Dumpty

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

This is the common text from the 1954 version of this nursery rhyme.

And according to Wikipedia, is the best-known version in the English language.

There are some tremendous truths, or life-lessons, we can learn from this children’s nursery rhyme.

First: Some of the greatest pains, hurts, and wounds that we experience in life – are self-inflicted. At least that is the case for me.

When I look at how the nursery rhyme starts it makes me want to shout, “Humpty, you big ole dummy, what are you doing up there on that wall in the first place? Get down! You are gonna kill yourself!”

But it is obvious that Humpty has failed to learn one of the simplest lessons in life. That being: If you do not put yourself in a position to fail to begin with, chances are really good that you will not fail.

As that great theologian Clint Eastwood once said, “A man has got to know his limitations!” We absolutely must know our limits!

You see, there comes a time in each of our lives when we simply cannot do the things we used to do.

At age 65 I do not climb ladders anymore or get on the roof. I have discovered that I do not bounce like I did in my younger years. These days, I just try not to inflict pain upon myself! Like everybody else, someday I will die. I just do not want it to be from a self-inflicted wound!

Second: Regardless of who we are, we are all subject to fall, or to failure. As the Bible says in 1st Corinthians 10:12, (KJV) “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

And I have discovered that we are most susceptible to falling, and to failure, when we are convinced that we will not. I once preached a sermon that I entitled, “The Most Important Things I Have Learned in Life Are the Things I Learned After I Knew it All.” (I think this is the lesson I am trying to convey today.)

Third: Sometimes failure is indeed fatal. Sometimes we crash and are destroyed to the point that we cannot be put back together again. We are broken into a million pieces. We are irreparably broken! This is a very harsh life-lesson!

Sometimes a partner in the marriage fails to the point where the marriage is irreparably destroyed.

Sometimes a person falls into addiction to the point that a life is irreparably destroyed.

Sometimes sacred trusts are violated to the point where our trustworthiness is irreparably destroyed.

Sometimes _____________________ (You fill in the blank) is irreparably destroyed.

The truth is that none of us are 10 foot tall and bullet proof. And none of us are exempt from failing to the point where it destroys us.

Fourth: I find great solace in the fact that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men saw enough value in the life of Humpty, that they tried their best to put him together again.

All of us should be so blessed as to have friends like that. But as hard as they tried, they could not. Therefore, the only option they had was go on with their lives. They had to live past the moment.

Fifth: Things are not always as we believe. You have read this whole article believing that Humpty Dumpty was an egg. However, nowhere does the verbiage identify him as such. Oh sure, we have seen drawings of him in nursery rhyme books portraying him as an egg. But that’s somebody’s belief of what he was.

Again, the verbiage does not say that. Perhaps we view him as an egg because an egg is fragile and easy to break. But the truth of the matter is, given the right circumstances, even hardened steel can be shattered.

Just five tremendous life-lessons we can learn from Humpty Dumpty.

Brother Aaron

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