Hope you’ve had a great week. Other than a little road rash incident on Monday — more on that later — I’ve had a fabulous week. I’m growing more and more optimistic about how our world is going. There are two keys to this optimism: (1) never for a single second turn on cable news; you can stay informed without being fed fear-inducing lies; and (2) actually talking to sentient human beings, preferably face-to-face. Praise the Lord they are so very different from the alleged humans on Twitter. I’m not saying that to be demeaning in any way. There are just a LOT of Twitter accounts that are not actual humans. Some are frauds created by pitiful, lonely souls who are trying to paint a certain narrative, and many many others are literal bots. If these are your inputs, you are almost guaranteed “low-grade depression,” or worse. Trash in, trash out.
It’s always unwise to be undiscerning about your mental diet, but you know what else is unwise? Trying to climb a steep grade with your hands tied behind your back. That’s essentially what I did on Monday. I took Nate and Sam to a nearby swimming hole where you can jump off rocks into crystal-clear water. I intended to jump too but didn’t, and so you might have thought I’d be injury-free. Nope. I found a way. From the jumping off point back up to the main hiking path is only 40 or so feet. But the grade is steep and the rocks are many. Nate led the way, I was in the middle and Sam brought up the rear.
Stupidly, I had not brought a drawstring bag, despite the fact we possess many of them. So as I was climbing I had my cell phone in one hand and our trash in the other. When I slipped I clung tightly to my stuff, and slid on the rocks down to an alarmed Sam behind me. So technically it’s not road rash, but rock rash. Either way it was utter idiocy.
But I was thinking about how this kind of inexplicable self-handicapping is pretty common. The Bible is full of wisdom and truth and yet many actively avoid it. Have you ever heard a speech where the speaker did intellectual backbends to share a piece of wisdom without attributing it to Jesus? On the one hand it’s amusing to watch people embrace truisms as fresh and new, when it is precisely what Jesus or Solomon said. But it is also heartbreaking that people have such easy access to Truth, and yet continually run from Him.
And it’s even more inexcusable when someone like me knows the way to peace and wisdom and still doesn’t begin each day in the Word of God.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17-18 ESV
Does that not sound wonderful? Pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, impartial and sincere? A million times yes! And you know what’s even better? God promises to answer our prayers for wisdom.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 ESV
You may not handicap yourself by climbing this uphill life with your hands full, but are you handicapping yourself by failing to ask for wisdom? I’m guilty on both counts. Fortunately, my road rash is a vivid reminder to do better.
So, friends, don’t handicap yourself. Spend time in God’s Word, ask Him for wisdom, and for heaven’s sake at least take a drawstring bag for the steep parts. We live in a fallen world, and the journey is uphill to the very end, why risk adding self-inflicted road rash to the mix? Instead, put yourself under the stream of God’s love and mercy. As Dallas Willard said, “Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning.” Choosing to abide is an act of the will and we can choose it every day.
Cheers to making every effort to abide!