Why do we ever treat any day like it’s “just another day”? This day was created by God as a unique, one-of-a-kind event never to be repeated, and possibly our last. Would you treat your last day as any other day?
Category Archives: wisdom
The odds of finding a needle in a haystack are against the one searching for it. But tell a man there actually is a needle (or possibly a few) in the haystack he’s about to jump into, and one of two things will probably happen: he’ll either recalculate the odds, or proceed like a fool.
Can you think of real-life examples?
Note: All recent posts have and are being written on my iPhone while we are in the process of moving – I don’t have access to my computer and internet.
“As a married man with daughters ages, it becomes evident that it’s not his mind that goes; it’s that he acquires the ability to randomly change it.” – A. Baker
The following was taken from my other blog, ProverbialThought.com.
“If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.”
The first thing we should understand is that this proverb’s setting, according to most commentaries, is in something like a courtroom. The word “contendeth” implies such. However, as we watch the “wise” contending with “fools” in courtrooms around the world, it is becoming harder and harder to determine which is the defendant.
In most situations, if you were to walk into a courtroom, you would expect the “wise” to be on the side of the prosecution, while the “foolish man” would be the other guy: the one slobbering on himself, freaking out, and making outrageous, unreasonable arguments for his case. But sadly, especially in the cases where God is on trial; where morals, faith, and family are under assault; where Christ is deemed an unnecessary and offensive part of Christmas, the “wise” are on the defense.
Consider the following commentary on Proverbs 29:9. As you read it, think of those who want to remove any resemblance of faith and religion from the public square, such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation, American Atheists, Richard Dawkins, etc.
He makes his argument not by logic, reason, or clear evidence but in a range of wild responses in which he “rages [a verb for “earthquake” in 30:21; Amos 8:8] or laughs,” probably in a mocking, sneering fashion to try to sway the verdict. The “peace” that ought to come from reconciliation, or at least a sound decision, is impossible. The matter bubbles on interminably to the pain of the wise and the distress of the community.
In a public speech to his fellow atheists gathering in Washington, D.C., Richard Dawkins gave some suggestions. When contending with those who believe in God, especially Christians, he advised: “Mock them. Ridicule them. In public…with contempt.“ Chillingly, in predictive fashion, the Bible says “that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts…” (2 Pet. 3:3). We must be getting close.
One day the Righteous Judge will hold court, but don’t lose hope. Even though we may have acted like fools in one way or another, those of us who’s Advocate is Jesus Christ (1 Jn. 2:1) have nothing to fear. Wisdom personified will argue on our behalf.
The foolish man, however, will be able to argue his own case. And once again, with rage and contempt, spewing out all manner of hatred and vile, he will attempt to justify himself.
But on that day, God will not be mocked (Gal. 6:7).
 David A. Hubbard and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Proverbs, vol. 15, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989), 462.
Today is the first day of school in Chattanooga, so back to the school bus I go. Therefore, in honor of all those who get behind the wheel of the big yellow machines, the following is a short adaptation from my little book, Life Lessons from the School Bus.
Back when I first trained to drive a school bus, all drivers were required to complete an obstacle course. I don’t know what they do these days, but one obstacle that I had to overcome it worth remembering – the tennis ball row.
The obstacle course was tough enough, but one test that we had to go through seemed totally off the wall. It was the last test, the last trial, the last obstacle of the day. All one had to do was drive a school bus across a parking lot, but without touching any tennis balls. What’s the catch?
The right side of the bus, front tire and rear tires, was to go between two rows of tennis balls, the spacing of which only left 2 inches of clearance. In other words, you only had at most 2 inches on either side of the widest part of the back tires. Touch a tennis ball and you have to start over. Go over the tennis balls – you fail.
Really, I could see how this exercise taught precision driving skills, but what was the point. When on earth was I supposed to encounter a bunch of yellow balls on the highway? Little did I know, a day would come when I would see first-hand the purpose for this lesson.
The Real Test
A few months into my driving career, I was asked to fill in on a route in the county. The route I was put on took me way out into farm country…tobacco country. After picking up a few kids, my directions led me down a gravel road, way out amidst acres of Kentucky no-man’s land. It wasn’t too long until I came upon a creek. The only way to get across the creek was to drive my 15 ton bus over a homemade, log and plank bridge.
“You have GOT to be kidding me!” was the first words out of my mouth.
“No, this is the way we always go,” said the boy noticing the terror in my face.
Trembling in my driver’s seat, my muscles hardly willing to obey my brain’s idiotic commands, I slowly began my crossing. Middle of the way through, as the bus was slightly rocking back and forth, I could see that my tires were barely on the wooden planks that lay across the logs. Then it hit me – “That’s why they had us drive through those tennis balls!”
The next thought that came into my mind was, “If they had told me what they were training me for, I would have found another job.”
The reason for the lesson may not be obvious until the need for application.
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” -James 1:3-4
Sometimes we are called by God to go through tests and trials which we don’t understand. What we need to realize is that God knows what is ahead of us, what bridges we may have to cross.
Let Him do what He must to train you for the road ahead. You may be the one responsible for carrying someone over to the other side.
The following also appears on my other blog, ProverbialThought.com.
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
Hidden sin is the stuff we hide from view, maybe even from ourselves. Hidden sin is the kind of sin we don’t want others to know about for fear of being embarrassed, judged, or condemned. Hidden sin could even be what we choose to label “character flaws,” “idiosyncrasies,” or simply “bad habits.” They are buried, closeted, covered, disguised, or even renamed in order to keep from admitting what they really are.
Do you sneak away to where no one will see? Do you wait till the kids are asleep? Do you clean up the mess so no one will know? Do you hide records and notes? Do you cover your tracks? Do you say it with a fake smile? Do you daydream about what you would do if you could get away with it?
Keep on, keep covering and you will never find relief; you will never find peace; you will never lose the weight of guilt; you will never, ever prosper.
Look at It!
There were so many times when I was younger that I was injured and didn’t want to look at the wound. One time I was cleaning an automotive valve grinding machine when I briefly touched my left hand to the sharp surfacing stone that was spinning at 5,000 r.p.m. In a micro second flesh was ground away to the bone and blood began to drip forming a puddle by my feet. I grabbed my hand with my other, called for help, then said, “I don’t want to look!”
Had I kept my hand covered, I would have never seen that the injury was not as extensive as I first thought. But had I kept my wound covered, denied it ever happened, and went on about my day, I could have bled to death, or at least lost my hand to a horrible infection. My life could have been changed forever.
Thankfully, I looked at my wound, then began to feel the pain, but then began a long healing process. Quite frankly, the same thing needs to happen with hidden sin. We need to admit the problem, deal with the pain, and allow others and God to bring healing to our lives.
Hidden sin is dangerous for many reasons. Hidden sin eats away at one’s soul and callouses the conscience to the warning signs of life-threatening disease. Though hidden, it is contagious and harms others.
Like the hidden ring in J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories, the longer we keep it, the more deadly it becomes – and the more deadly we become. But to he who confesses, admits what he has, turns from it, and asks for help, there awaits mercy.
Got sin? Need mercy? You know what to do.
It Started With a Comment
Just the other day someone commented on my blog and asked me to check out something he had written. I did, and it became clear that this person had come to the conclusion that everyone has his own version of the truth, and there’s no way to determine which religion is true…because not all truth claims are testable.
Well, when it comes to the truth claims of Jesus Christ, I respectfully disagreed.
That led me to remember a couple of posts which deal with the subject from slightly different perspectives. Here is the first one, and the second will be re-posted right after this one.
The Way We See It
If I have heard it said once, I have heard it said a thousand times, “perception is reality.” And if I have puked once…well, you know the rest.
What is it with man’s twisted view of reality and truth? Where do we get the idea that reality is what we perceive it to be? Is truth really relative to our own perception of the way things are? Just because a person believes something to be true doesn’t make it true, only believed.
Have you ever argued with someone who is color-blind over the color of a tie? Have you ever tried to convince someone dying of thirst that it’s not really water, but a mirage? Have you ever tried to convince a 3-year-old that germs are real and that hands need to be washed before eating? Some people think they know what they see, but they don’t.
Have you ever tried to argue with an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) about the letters on the wall? Yes, a “B” may appear to your flawed eyes as a “D”, but that doesn’t change what is on the wall.
Hot or Cold?
Sure, there are certain times when it seems like truth is relative, and here is a good example.
When my wife and I walk into a room, both of us will perceive a different sensation. If the temperature on the thermometer reads 70 degrees, then my wife is going to exclaim, “Why is it so hot in here?” On the other hand, I am going to say, “I think it feels fine.” I may, depending on how hot the temperature is outside, think that what my wife perceives to be hot is actually cool.
Both are correct based on our individual experiences and perceptions, but in reality the truth of the temperature is still 70, regardless of how we feel about it.
Several years ago I was unfortunate enough to transport a bunch of college kids to a party. It was unfortunate because long before some of them ever got on the school bus they had already been drinking.
The place they were going to was up a mountain. About 5 minutes into the trip, about the third or fourth curve, one girl decided to vomit on the window, down the inside wall, and between the seats. It was all liquid, all alcohol, and all nasty. A few minutes later she felt she was ready to go party some more, for, in her eyes, she was perfectly clean. The only problem was that we (everyone on the bus) could tell she was soaked…in other words, we weighed the “spirits.”
God Sees Everything
When it comes to self-perception, reality is what God sees. He not only sees the outside, but the heart is bare before Him. As the proverb says, a man may consider himself clean, which is his own perception of reality, but the Lord knows what’s really going on.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
It is foolish for men to try to justify their sinful, dirty actions before a holy God. It is foolish to depend on our own perception of what is right and wrong. Our eyes only want to see what makes us look good, not evil.
That is why we need God’s wisdom.