When I was a younger teenager (I’m not exactly sure of the age) I experienced something rather unpleasant. It was a warm, summer day and I had been outside doing something. I grew up in the midwest, southeast Ohio, actually. And if you’re from that area, you know that summers tend to be warm and humid. They have great thunderstorms there, but it can be stinkin’ miserable.
So, on this day, I came in from doing whatever I had been doing and was quite thirsty. You know the kind of thirsty I’m talking about. The kind where you’d be happy to stand infront of a fire hydrant and let your cheeks flap in the pressure as you quench your thirst. Well, I came in needing to quench this thirst and discovered a pitcher of blue Kool-aid sitting on the counter.
Being an extremely dehydrated, un-wise young man, I picked up the pitcher and took a great big swig. No cup. Only, the consistency was a little off. I thought that was odd, but went ahead and drank. It didn’t take long for me to realize that what I was actually tasting in my mouth was the remnants of a broken bottle of Dawn dishsoap. It was not quite what I had in mind. Nor was I able to quench my thirst with that. It took quite a while for the taste to go away.
If I had exercised just a little bit of critical thinking, I could have averted this disaster. Just enough patience to get a glass and I could have saved my tastebuds.
29 Because they hated moral knowledge,
and did not choose to fear the Lord,
30 they did not comply with my advice,
they spurned all my rebuke.
31 Therefore they will eat from the fruit of their way,
and they will be stuffed full of their own counsel.
32 For the waywardness of the
simpletons will kill them,
and the careless ease of fools will destroy them.
33 But the one who listens to me will live in security,
and will be at ease from the dread of harm.
I’m sure that we can all think of times in our own lives when we have been offered wise counsel, and yet just knew that we could figure out a better way on our own. We can be so arrogant some times. Why should I listen to the words of this person who has gone through a similar situation as I have? What good could possibly come from doing what they say? Just because they’re older doesn’t mean they understand what I’m going through.
Therefore, we eat the fruits of our own way. In so doing, it doesn’t take us long to realize that if we would’ve heeded the counsel we received, we might not be in this situation. And instead of being nourished by a diet of wisdom, we have to deal with the consequences of a diet of self.
But, the one who listens to Wisdom and her ways will live in security. Isn’t that what we all want? Don’t we want to be free from the dread we encounter each day. I mean, that’s why we stockpile resources into savings accounts, 401k’s, Roth IRAs and Gold and Silver. The goal is to accumulate enough wealth to be ready for the worst, and to be secure in our later years.
The funny thing is, we are given a chance to acquire a security that is much more valuable and the only thing keeping us from obtaining it is our own pride. As we will learn, wisdom is far more valuable than riches. The amazing thing is that it’s free for the receiving. (Wisdom is not free for the taking, we have to receive it.) If we can just learn to be open, humble and willing we can also learn the ways of wisdom.
In learning wisdom, we will unlock the key to security.