Sometimes when I become overwhelmed, I do nothing. And sometimes when I’m overwhelmed, I literally do everything. I just cram more and more and more stuff into my days until I crash. And then I decide to do nothing again. It’s kinda crazy and there’s really no in-between. I used to think that was abnormal, but I’m pretty sure most of us function like that.
Stuck. Get unstuck.
It’s a whirlwind for sure. But in all of the craziness, whether it’s actual or perceived, acted upon or not – I can tell you that doing something small, one step at a time, trumps doing nothing, complaining, or staying stuck for too long.
So to that end: here’s a devotional. I’m stuck on writing ALL THE THINGS that I want to write about, so I am taking my own advice and submitting things on this site one step at a time.
Why a devotional you might ask? I’m part of the devotional writing team for church. I said yes to that during one of my “do everything” stints. As my daughter says when I try to maintain some semblance of mothering over her almost 21 year-old decisions, “Hey, I could make worse choices.”
The passages are assigned and are limited to 250 words. I negotiated 300 – in under 250 words.
Hey, ask not, want not.
For waywardness kills the simple, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but those who listen to me will be secure and live at ease, without dread of disaster. –Proverbs 1:32-33 (Full text, Proverbs 1:20-33)
Solomon, King David’s son, gives us a clear warning against sinfulness as well as a gut-wrenching personal plea to act wisely. The best advice is often given to us by those whom have been through a particular situation and have firsthand experience of dealing with resultant consequences of bad decisions.
It doesn’t matter the day or age, there are only two ways to respond to wisdom: to listen or to turn away. Either one is a choice. How many times have you watched someone – whether a child, friend, or complete stranger choosing to act in a manner that they have been warned against, sometimes over and over again? Ignoring sound advice leads to unwise actions and painful consequences.
Oftentimes the person who turns away from wisdom will blame someone else for their poor choices; however, nobody has an excuse. Wisdom is made available to everyone – all we have to do is choose to listen. Solomon was greatly blessed by God with wisdom, but sadly he didn’t listen to God even though he was in possession of “a very great insight and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore” (1 Kings 4:29).
It wasn’t until Solomon was much older that he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes and looked back upon his life with incredible regret for the choices he made. Despite all of the worldly wealth and pleasure, he found it meaningless to follow his own way instead of God’s way. There is no eternal significance in sinful desires and foolish ways.
Dear Lord, help us to put aside our selfish desires and follow You. May we remember to live in your ways, not our own. May we remember that it is relationship that matters, not worldly possessions. And may we listen to the wise words of Solomon who reminds us that a human life lived to the exclusion of God is meaningless. In your name we pray, Amen.