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No more excuses

"He is wise beyond his years" - when we say this, we are pointing to the fact the person is making choices "smarter" than they usually would be for their age or station in life. In common thinking, wisdom is something that comes with age. As an individual ages chronologically, the opportunity for multiple experiences have presented the added benefit of learning new things. We get exposed to more, so therefore it stands to reason we will get to learn new things as we grow up a little. I think we can challenge the belief that aging equates to the development of wisdom, though. I have known many an individual who has "aged" chronologically without really "learning" from their life experiences! They just keep repeating them over and over again, not really showing any signs of having learned anything along the way.

Oh, how I love all you've revealed; I reverently ponder it all the day long. Your commands give me an edge on my enemies; they never become obsolete. I've even become smarter than my teachers since I've pondered and absorbed your counsel. I've become wiser than the wise old sages simply by doing what you tell me. (Psalm 119:97-100)

Wisdom isn't developed because we age. It is a process of listening, taking various steps of obedience to what we are learning, then using that wisdom over and over until we have 'mastered' it. Wise people reveal a delight for what God reveals. Delight carries not only the idea of something producing extreme pleasure for the bearer / hearer, but also the feelings of gratitude that are produced in the revelation. There are some things in life I have wished someone never shared with me. There are images I have beheld that I would rather erase from my memory. It is quite another thing to find pleasure (enjoyment) in what God reveals - those are the memories we want to have stick around for a long while.

Wisdom is produced not so much in the revelation, but in the rehearsal of the revelation. That is what many refer to as the concept of pondering. The things revealed to us by God are turned over and over in our mind until our heart finally gets it! Too many times we stop at the "revealing" of truth and then wonder why we just don't find any change as a result of what was revealed to us. It is in the rehearsing of that revelation that we "learn" the truth - the 'repetitiveness' of rehearsal actually helps cement to revelation. The most important thing along the journey is in having the way made clear. I wonder if we actually would go nowhere without God's commands - in other words, we keep the truths we have been taught in the forefront of our mind so they affect each step we take along the way. When faced with choices, are we relying on what God has said? We don't find ourselves floundering around so much in the moment when we have become familiar with how God expects us to live. We know God's commands because we have learned through the rehearsal of them!

We need to become students of the "rules". I recently overheard someone sharing the reasons people were giving in class for having to attend a "traffic" class after having received tickets from the police for some infraction while driving their automobiles. The purpose of the class was to "train" the drivers to not commit the same violations. Some of the individuals attending the class thought it was "foolish" and just plain "unfair" to get the moving violation they had received. Their excuses went something like this: "I wasn't following that close! I could usually stop on a dime!" or "I don't see the big deal! I didn't hurt anyone by driving that slow!" or "I steer just as well with my knees as I do with my hands!" Now doesn't this make us think a little? We all have various "excuses" for the things we do, don't we? These folks weren't there to "study" the rules - in fact, they didn't even feel that the rules applied to them! The fact is the "rules" DO apply! There is benefit in learning the "rules" that keep us safe. Wisdom that is not equated to "chronological years" is really a matter of studying the "rules" that keep us safe in the journey and applying them to our lives.

Rules are fine, but apart from obedience to the rules, they are merely words on paper - ideas that are 'nice', but not very 'rewarding' or 'practical'. Those drivers in traffic school did not really believe the rules applied to them - they devalued the rules. We actually learn the value of rules in the obedient steps we take in keeping them! Maybe it is time for all of us to examine the "excuses" we have been making for the "rules" not applying in our life. Look at the attitude we have been exhibiting toward the revelation of truth. If we find that it has been nothing more than an "AH HA!" experience and then you move on, we might consider rehearsing that "AH HA!" until we really get it worked into our hearts. You know, God can hit the target repeatedly, but if we keep moving the target, we really are doing nothing more than testing his skill as a marksman! Just sayin!

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