Skip to main content

Caution requires attentiveness

In the Book of Proverbs, there is much emphasis on the type of learning which comes by listening and then following the wisdom given to us through our elders, teachers, and good leaders. Wisdom doesn't come with age...it comes because we learn from what we are taught. We all know there is a whole lot of teaching going on each day, but there is far less learning than there is teaching! Learning requires keen observation, good listening, and the willingness to apply what one is taught. Without these three elements, we fall somewhere short of wisdom.

Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.  (Proverbs 4:23 ERV)

According to our writer of this proverb, wisdom comes when we actually begin our quest for wisdom by looking for it. We don't look for something unless there is a desire to make a discovery. As I travel, there are occasions when I see signs posted warning me to watch for some form of animal crossing the road. The signs actually alert me to the possibility of one of these large animals just deciding it is the right time to cross the road as I am making my way on my journey. In order to avoid them, I have to discover where they are and be alert to their movement. I think the first step to getting to know God may be a little similar. We are alerted to his presence by the signs we observe. Then we start to look for him in ways we had not previously used, such as when we turn on our bright lights while driving in order to expand our line of sight. The actions of observation lead us to take specific steps to aid us in our ability to make further discovery.

As discovery is made, it leads us to action - the next step in the learning process. Too many times we think we have learned just because we have made discovery of some insight. Let me assure you, it is one thing to observe the herd of elk along the side of the road. It is quite another to understand how nimble they are at jumping fences to get to the other side! We discover their presence, observe their beauty, but until we see them in action, we don't actually learn much! Once we see their action, it alters how we drive and the degree of caution we exhibit in our continued journey. Why? We recognize they can cross our path quickly, in large herds, and with great agility. They don't alter their course just because we are there. They expect us to alter ours! There are times when I think we observe what God is doing and we think he will somehow fit that into what we are doing. We might just do well to not only observe what God reveals to us, but use it to alter how it is we are traveling!

The other part to learning is this idea of avoiding some things along the way. Discovery involves assimilating information into useful knowledge which somehow affects how we live. At times, this means we pursue one course while totally avoiding others. Why? Some hazards exist which need to be avoided and to avoid them we need to be alert to them. We learn by paying attention - tuning in so as to make keen observation. Then we alter our course so we avoid things which are best left alone. We apply the knowledge we are given in order to not only make further discovery, but also to avoid the things which are best left undiscovered in this life!  Just sayin!

Comments

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

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean