Tuesday, November 13, 2012

On Proverbs

The Book of Proverbs is a good one to read every day. So I have been told, at various times and by various people, especially my father while I was growing up. It seems to leave traces of wisdom where it goes, and layers of understanding that build, with bricks and mortar, houses and rooms of knowledge that you can take shelter in.

Today is Novemember 13. What jewels are there in Proverbs 13? I'm going to lay some of them out here.

"He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin."

AAhhhhh, how many times have I wished I had stopped and thought before the words came tumbling out! I am a verbal thinker. Which means, frankly, that I talk alot....blah blah blah... For example. This morning I go into Home Hardware to get a can of paint. I know what I need, and the color, but I talk it through with the lady at the paint desk anyway, asking questions I pretty much know the answer to already, because as I'm talking it out the color, the texture, the brand of paint, the amount - gallon or pint- all makes sense. I now feel reasonably sure I'm buying the right thing. Bless their hearts, these people who listen to me.

Rash speaking gets you in trouble. Nobody will comment on it, perhaps, but a reputation is built, and others may trust you less, or be wary of your anger spray can that shoots acid at random. A life can come to ruin. Picture a ruined house or castle on a hillside. Where no care is taken, things fall apart; acid eats through stone, rain erodes the foundation, wind and leaves blow in windows left open and make a rotten mess inside.

It's rather important, this guard over our lips. And some of us have to post a stronger guard than others. heh heh...

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

Ain't that the truth. Do we always get what we want (or think we want)? Sometimes. Sometimes we force it and take what we shouldn't have, and that hurts too. Longing, hope that is always out of reach, makes your heart ache. We've all felt it at some point. This verse makes me wonder though, is a longing fulfilled always a tree of life? I mean, at the moment, it can make you feel vibrant, buzzing with life, on top of the world!!!! But if it is a longing for something (or someone) that you are not meant to have, the tree is rotten through and through in a short time. A short life. Proverbs has a lot to say about the human condition, and how we operate, how we deviate, and our propensity to destroy without meaning to, sometimes, like a child in a grocery store. Piles of neatly ordered cans come crashing down.
Our hearts are often NOT in the right place, they are devious, and lead us down paths of pain. This I know from experience, and I'm sure you also, reader, have tasted this.

"He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm."

Self-explanatory! It's interesting all the mention of harm, or destruction, or ruin as the polar opposite of wisdom. Like a cake that falls flat without baking powder. Like an instrument that hasn't been tuned. Like a castle built on sand, everything falls apart without it!

The thing with wisdom though is if you've never seen it you don't know you need it.
The aspiring musician who has never heard a symphony might know that something is wrong, but never think to tune his poor squealing violin. Does this not apply to raising children, running a home, and having friends? Mentors are so important, those people who show us a straight line before we build, and play us a song before we sing. If we learn to recognize wisdom, we won't be able to play the instrument of our lives without it. We will recognize the sweet sounds of harmony.

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