We are having some much needed rain here today and I grabbed an umbrella out of the trunk for some errands I was running.
It made me think about Proverbs and wisdom and how life has a way of teaching us through trial and error. And misery and humiliation. Those are good teachers, my friends, and I have been in the after school program with these professors more times than I would like to remember.
You might be wondering what the rain/umbrella story and wisdom have to do with each other. So here is the short version.
When I was headed off to college, my father brought home an umbrella for me one day as a parting gift. I accepted it politely, assuming he had missed the memo that no cool kid would ever be caught dead carrying an umbrella. We dashed to our cars with nary a thought of covering our straight locks with one of those awkward things our parents used.
And obviously, with the ink barely dry on my high school diploma as I packed up my record player, bellbottoms and clogs, I knew what cool was. Oh well…I would stash that archaic thing in my dorm room and carry on.
Or so I thought until the first rainy day on campus when I headed out with a notebook over my head for protection and lo and behold…the sidewalks had become a sea of umbrellas.
Apparently somewhere between your childhood bedroom and a room the size of your former closet, you learn a thing or two; and one is that carrying an umbrella as you walk across several miles of campus is wise.
And that is how wisdom works.
Over time we learn that our stubborn and foolish ways of worrying about what others think of us give way to listening to what God thinks. And no…I don’t think He cares one way or another about umbrellas. But He does care about us listening to Him and to those who have gone before us and who, by experience, have become wiser than we.
He cares about how we stop trying to control everything and everyone around us and yield to the truth that we really aren’t as smart and cool as we thought we were.
He cares about sneaky, ugly pride and how it slips in with many a disguise so that we won’t notice we are repeatedly shooting ourselves in the foot while we wonder why nothing works out the way we thought it would.
Wisdom starts with a simple prayer that says…
God I know so little. I think I have things figured out, and in truth, I don’t. I need your help. Show me how to live this life You have given me in a way that brings You honor and glory. Get me out of the way, so I can follow You. Quiet my own thoughts so that I can hear Yours. I am Your child…I am not the boss of me…You are my final word and I am ready to listen.me
Or that’s my words anyway…use your own to tell God you are finally realizing that pride has snuck in and stolen so much space where God would like to fill up with wisdom.
He has an “umbrella” of protection for us when we live in obedience to Him. We still face trials and life isn’t perfect, but it goes a lot more smoothly for you and everyone around you if you will get under that umbrella….
God bless you as you listen and learn and grow in wisdom and strength every day <3