Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Simple or Smart

Are we simple or smart? That is the question that Proverbs asks each of us. According to this book, by nature, we are simple and prone to make mistakes. These proverbs are directed to us as a way of helping us. They beckon us to listen so that we can learn.

Proverbs 9:4 “‘Let all who are simple come in here!’ she says to those who lack judgment.”

We each have a destination even if we don’t realize it. We are on our way to somewhere. We are also involved in a journey—it’s life’s journey. Both our destination and our journey are so important. The destination refers to the direction of our life. Where are we headed? Where will we eventually end up? What will our life look like in twenty years? The journey is important because it refers to what is going on now, in the meantime. What are we like? How much are we learning as we make this journey? How well do we relate with the people around us? How much do we enjoy life? We are either wise or foolish in our choice of destination, and we are either wise or foolish in our journey.

A few minutes ago I pulled a folder off my shelf. The folder contains my original notes from the very first study I gave of the book of Proverbs over thirty years ago. Just the sight of the folder brings back a flood of memories. While we were in ministry in Tucuman, Argentina, I noticed the behavior of a couple of the young men in the church as being a little inappropriate. I knew as I observed their attitudes and behavior that they would benefit from knowing the timeless principles of the Word of God. These young students lacked understanding in simple things about life. I remember the day I started writing down my thoughts about this future class. I was in the city of Salta, some two hundred miles from my home, where I was sitting at a restaurant waiting for my bus departure. I used the napkins to write my thoughts down. Over the next few weeks, I continued to jot down every topic I thought would be appropriate for them. Then some time later, I started teaching this class using Proverbs as a guide. The year and a half that followed was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. God so anointed and blessed that class that all of us had our eyes opened, and we saw things that we had never seen before in the book of Proverbs. Many times that class ended with all of us in tears. As I prepared, it was a lot of work, especially since I was still learning the Spanish language, but I prepared with delight. The class grew as the students learned with enthusiasm. Undoubtedly, it was an extraordinary privilege for me which has given me a great memory.

I am beginning a study of Proverbs with my congregation here in People’s Church tonight. It is my desire that as we make this journey through the book, we listen to Wisdom as she calls to each of us.

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