Thursday, April 8, 2010

Straight Wisdom

OK, no more of “I am not going to write until I feel inspired”.

I need to write regularly, and I must discipline myself to do this, whether I feel “inspired” or not. My friend, Laura, says that feelings have an IQ of 0. In other words, feelings are often not accurate or helpful when undertaking a difficult task. Nike has it right when they say, “JUST DO IT”. My feelings will not dictate what I know that I should be doing. I will write, inspired or not, and tell of my wonderings and wanderings (and inspirations when they appear).

So…I have been thinking a lot about worldliness lately and why we, as Christ-followers, choose it. I mean God is pretty clear in Proverbs 3 when He says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Don’t we all want straight paths? Don’t we want to trust Somebody who knows how to do this thing called life? Why do we ignore that advice, then, and go down our own unknown, crooked and muddy trails?

Last night in D6, we taped paths to the floor for the 2nd graders to follow during a competition. Some of the paths were straight (fast, better, easier to follow), and some of the paths were crooked (slower, easier to fall off, not as efficient). At the end of the race—in which the participants with the straight paths won—I asked the students which paths were better. They answered with a resounding “The straight ones!” Of course the straight ones were better. They were pointed in one direction, focused on the goal, and had less distractions of going this way, then that way, then this way again…. Even a 2nd grader can recognize the wisdom in the straight path—why can’t we?

God promises that if we trust him, he will make our paths straight. That’s not just a comforting axiom. That’s not just a suggestion. The part about making our paths straight is a promise—but a promise with some qualifiers:

First, we have to trust God with our whole hearts. Why do we struggle with trusting the God who made our hearts—and the whole world for that matter? Do we really think that he cannot meet our deepest desire? He is the fulfillment of that desire.

Second, we can’t trust in our own understanding of reality. God does not reside within our reality and is not limited by it. When we stop trying to intellectually solve our problems, our spiritual vision clears greatly.

Third, we MUST acknowledge God. Not just when we are with our Christian buddies. Not just when we feel comfortable doing it. ALL THE TIME. We must acknowledge God all the time—with every fiber of our being—“in all our ways”. We must acknowledge God in church and at school. We must acknowledge God at home and at Hy-Vee. We must acknowledge God by what we say and what we choose not to say. We must acknowledge God by loving Him and not the charms of this shiny world.

Then… and only then…will God make our paths straight.

“For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.

For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”

Proverbs 2:6-11

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