Skip to main content

Signs of life

Advice:  Something offered as a guide for action or conduct; an official notification.  There are times when I have received advice which has really benefited me in a positive manner.  I think of a previous leader I served with who guided me into investing my retirement funds in a way which was not only diversified, but helped me grow my funds a little quicker since I had some catching up to do.  This was advice which actually assisted me in a very positive manner.  I have also followed some not so great advice, purchasing some things I wish I had not simply because it was the latest trend and someone "swore" it would make all the difference to own it!  Now, let me just assure you, there are some things which have benefited my life, while there are others which were just pure flops.  Everyone talked about the battery driven can opener you place on the top of the can and turn on - but did anyone consider how long the batteries would last and how frequently it would run down?  I don't think so!  I have two of these devices since mom had one when she moved in with me. Guess what I use to open cans...a good old-fashioned crank can opener!  I got on the bandwagon with everyone else and asked for one of those really expensive coffee brewers which makes only one cup at a time - you know which one I mean.  Then I realized the cost of coffee packaged this way and had to find a suitable "refillable" device to house my own coffee grinds to keep the cost of coffee down to a manageable sum!  Now that it has given up the ghost, I am not looking to replace it with another of this type - I am going back to my simple four-cup brewer.  It might not be as "trendy", but it certainly gets the job done in a pretty efficient manner!   Sometimes we don't always heed the "best" advice, but hop quickly to embrace advice which is more or less "trendy". We can see it is not always the best advice!

We are rewarded or punished for what we say and do. Fools think they know what is best, but a sensible person listens to advice. (Proverbs 12:14-15 CEV)

We are rewarded or punished for what we say and do - if we heed bad advice, what is our reward?  I don't think of it as punishment, but as the consequences of not taking time to really consider our steps.  Reward is not always positive! It can carry a little bit of a consequence to it, making it more like a punishment than a reward.  Yesterday I pulled up my first carrot from the garden.  It was about 3 inches long.  I washed it complete with the carrot leaves still on it and presented it to mom.  She said it was sweet and quite excellent in taste.  It took a pretty long while for them to go from carrot tops to something growing beneath the surface!  I have been plucking up a little carrot green about once a month for a couple of months to keep tabs on how they are growing.  I didn't expect anything quite as lovely when I plucked this one, but was rewarded with a nice wee carrot!  Sometimes our actions are just like that - we look for growth but don't always see it.  We don't pluck up all the promising signs of growth to discover this - we just pluck one single carrot!  In our lives, we may not see immediate reward for each and every promising sign of growth in our lives, but we can "track" the growth if we consider where we are over the course of time. We might not be fully developed in a particular area, but if we continue to cultivate and nourish that area of our life, we will eventually be rewarded with the growth beneath the surface.

A sensible person listens to advice - this is having the keen awareness and judgment which actually keeps us from making totally wrong decisions all the time. It doesn't mean we "never" operate in the realm of silliness and take an occasional unwise step, but it refers to more of the idea of leaving some things alone once we get any idea they are not really the right thing for us to be pursuing.  Advice may come in the form of a warning - if heeded, we can turn away before we launch fully into something.  It may come in the form of plain old common sense - like when I didn't pluck up all the carrot tops when I didn't see growth under the first one!  I know it takes time for these things to mature. Now imagine what life would be like if we examined our own lives in this way. We look to see what is beneath the surface, but if we don't see growth immediately and then just start all over again we might be labeled as being a little "flighty".  Last year I planted some sweet potato vine and elephant ear vine in the same bed.  We had a really bad frost which took rather hearty growth and destroyed it overnight.  I left it there, though, knowing when the frosts passed, I would re-cultivate the bed and try again.  As I pulled back those dead vines, I discovered some small sweet potatoes beneath the surface!  Who knew those were there?  Not me!  So, I left them there and have waited to see what would happen.  I am pleased to say there is life emerging! 

What we might think we need is continual "advice" on how to live or make the decisions we have to make.  What we fail to recognize is the wisdom and sense God has built into our lives to know "growth" comes where we see any and all potential for growth!  Those carrot tops promise carrots beneath the surface. The wee sweet potatoes promise the evidence of another round of vining plants this season.  That spark of hope promises a developing sense of peace and freedom in your life where only darkness and frustration has been evident before.  We might not always receive "advice" - sometimes we just need to lay hold of the truth we already possess and act upon it.  That can be the difference between the fool and the wise!  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,