"Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life."
When my daughter was two years old, she developed a curiosity for streets. I couldn't adequately explain to her that roaming into a street was not an option. It wasn't because she lacked outdoor time. We spent hours each day outside ~ in our garden, at one of the local parks, and on walks. The intrique of the unknowns in that forbidden territory created numerous conflicts between us. When I told her firmly, "Don't run into the street," she saw the whole scenario through the eyes of a toddler.
But as her mom, I knew that in order to maintain life (hers!), there had to be certain limitations. I could see the dangers and possible outcome when all she saw was a street just waiting to be explored. I had to persist with my "Don't"s until she came to the realization that I wasn't going to back down. Only then did she begin to listen to me.
Are we any different? Our Father sees the possible fall-outs of choices we are making. He knows the outcomes if we continue to do certain things. So he offers a road map ~ a guide book ~ to help us avoid tempting but perilous roads. He warns us of activities we shouldn't engage in, because he sees that they will pull us off the path to the abundant life he longs to give us.
The Book of Proverbs is laden with messages from a loving Father to his children about living wisely. Among the "Do"s are many "Don't"s. We need to embrace the whole package if we want wisdom. The "Don't"s aren't there to steal our joy. They are there to protect us and keep us moving in the right direction. It may seem like a hefty price to pay to acquire wisdom. But the longer I live, the more I come to realize that the cost is so much higher when we turn a deaf ear and live to please ourselves.
If I want to live wisely, I need to stay in step with my Father ~ much like I told my daughter when she was anywhere near a street! I also need to listen, pay close attention, and heed the instructions. If I am not listening, how will I know what my Father is telling me to do (or not do)? I won't. I've got to do my part and wholeheartedly pursue this treasure called wisdom. Chapter Four of Proverbs is such a powerful illustration of this. And the benefits it refers to ~ protection, honor, a crown of splendor, longer life, a steady path, better health, knowledge, and direction ~ are just a handful. Wisdom leads to LIFE in its deepest, richest form. I want that. "Though it cost you everything...", I long for it. Because in the end, the rewards I will reap far outweigh any cost to me now.
A proverb a day ~ a cry out for wisdom ~ my eye on the prize. I want to live wisely!
"A wise old owl sat on an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard
Why aren't we like that wise bird?
"Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways."
Proverbs 4:25, 26