You can imagine the scene in your head. Maybe it’s from a movie, I don’t know as I can’t remember what it would be from…But, the scene goes something like this.
There’s a grumpy older gentlemen (We’ll call him Jethro) who has an intial interation with a kid – (Calvin). A younger kid, probably 8 years old or so. For some reason Calvin becomes enamored with Jethro and starts following him around everywhere. Being the grumpy old man that he is, he tells Calvin to scram, but Calvin doesn’t listen. Calvin follows him around, everywhere he goes. Finally, Jethro goes home and doesn’t let the kid in. As the sun goes down we see Calvin walking home. But, early the next morning, in the warm-light of the new day, we find Calvin waiting by Jethro’s door. Jethro, opens the door and walks out, not noticing Calvin sitting there. He gets surprised by Calvin when Calvin starts asking him questions. Jethro says, “I guess I’m not gonna get rid of you, am I kid?” To which Calvin replies, “nope.”
That’s the image we get from today’s proverb. For those who want to be blessed with wisdom and living in her ways, we need to have the same zeal that Calvin has for Jethro. We need to follow Wisdom around all day, asking her questions and waiting for the answers. We need to wait by her door when she’s not at home and in the morning.
As we find wisdom, we will find our lives becoming full of blessing. Maybe not riches like many of us hope for, but blessings worth much more than gold. When we find wisdom, we will receive favor from the Lord. Therefore, we need to pursue wisdom as Calvin pursues Jethro. This is not a pursuit we can go after in a few minutes here and there. This is not something we can take lightly. We have to go after it with all our being.
The hope is that we will begin to receive bits and pieces of her ways. The hope is that as we see how she would respond to certain situations, we will learn to respond in kind. The hope is that being around her will rub off on our lives and thinking, inside and out, all of who we are.
“So now, children, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction so that you may be wise,
and do not neglect it.
Blessed is the one who listens to me,
watching at my doors day by day,
waiting beside my doorway.
For the one who finds me finds life
and receives favor from the Lord.
But the one who does not find me brings harm to himself;
all who hate me love death.”
If we don’t pursue wisdom in this way, the alternative is not all that desirable. If we don’t find wisdom, not only do we not receive favor from the Lord, but we will bring harm to ourselves. Even worse, if we decide that the ways of wisdom are too hard or not worth our time, we will find ourselves encamped with death itself.
This is a treacherous path we all walk. It is narrow and full of snares and traps. All it takes is one slip, and we find ourselves buried beneath a pile of fools gold. We need wisdom to know what to say yes to and just as importantly, what to say no to. We need wisdom to know when to look and when to look away. We need wisdom to know when to want and when to be satisfied. It doesn’t take much to find ourselves in a heap of trouble. And while there is grace to cover it all, there can still be very real consequences in this life for the mistakes that we make.
So, be like Calvin. Wait outside Jethro’s door, follow him around all day asking questions and watching his ways. Make yourself his shadow, an apprentice to his ways. Learn from his mistakes so you can avoid some of the pain he carries in his eyes. Wisdom will never tell us to scram, but will always welcome us with open arms.