I have a toddler who transitioned to a big girl bed last week and has decided napping is for the birds. Also, she is sick but still refusing to nap, which means she needs to be constantly held and my productive time has dropped to practically zero. There’s worse things than having to snuggle my baby all day, but I am taking longer to finish new blog posts. Here’s one I was working on earlier for just this sort of situation. I’ll be back to Genesis on Sunday-hopefully!!!
My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.
12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
13 who have left the straight paths
to walk in dark ways,
14 who delight in doing wrong
and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
15 whose paths are crooked
and who are devious in their ways.
16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
17 who has left the partner of her youth
and ignored the covenant she made before God.
18 Surely her house leads down to death
and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
19 None who go to her return
or attain the paths of life.
20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land,
and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the unfaithful will be torn from it.
Oh, look! Second chapter of Proverbs and one of the early verses says we are to search for wisdom as we look for silver and hidden treasure! There again, is Wisdom as a commodity (as referenced in my first Proverbs post). But this chapter is really calling us on a quest, isn’t it? We are to “search for [Wisdom] as for hidden treasure” (2:4), and from there on out it reads like the summary of an adventure movie. We, the heroes of the story, will come across wicked men on crooked paths and temptresses, carrying the shield of the Lord, protected by Discretion- which, by the way, is a way cooler word when capitalized.
But you know what this implies? It implies that we will have to walk through dangerous places. We will come to crossroads where we must chose the “paths of the righteous” (2:20) or the “dark ways” (2:13) and “paths to the spirits of the dead” (2:18). It is at these dangerous crossroads that Wisdom will be able to exercise her power on our behalf.
Some of these choices, to be sure, are more obvious. Taking a newly sober person to a bar is a terrible idea. As Jesus says in Luke 17:2, “It would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and to be thrown into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.”
But some of these choices may not be as obvious. Parenting is a great example of this. Sometimes it seems like nothing you do is right – breastfeeding or bottle feeding? Stopping breastfeeding at 6 months? 12 months? Four years? You’re going to get flak from somebody no matter what choice you make. And you know what the right answer is? The one that is right for you (and in this case, your child). This chapter doesn’t say there is only one good path, but references “every good path.” (2:9) But sometimes, having so many options can make it harder. These moments – when Google has fifteen conflicting answers based on which Reddit conversation you chose, when your mom tells you one thing but your best friend another, when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the possibilities – this is when you need to be “turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding.” (2:2) Do it how you will and call it what you want: praying, meditating, maybe even just setting aside some time for list-making, but do it with intention and an open mind, and I believe God will recognize that intent. Because, as this chapter tells us, if you “call out for insight, and cry aloud for understanding,” (2:3) then you will “find the knowledge of God” (2:5). We live in an age of unparalleled information, but God can still help us find wisdom.