Thursday, October 9, 2014

9 in 30 for 30

Lately, I've been hearing/reading a new take on an old saying:

"Everything happens for a reason... but sometimes that reason is that you're stupid and you make bad decisions."

I'm not turning this into a debate of pre-destination vs. free will, because to me, it doesn't really matter. You can grab your pitchforks all you want on that, but it doesn't effect my level of unworthiness next to Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God With Us.

This morning, I read Proverbs 9, continuing this series until my 30th birthday. I read this:
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer." v. 10-12
So far, we've seen the personification of Wisdom be at the end of her preaching on the importance of knowing Her as opposed to Folly, personified by a prostitute or wayward wife. At this point in her sermons, Wisdom is at her house, at the highest point, and is letting those who follow her invite others to "leave their simple lives" and "walk in the way of insight" (v. 6) and feast upon what Wisdom offers: Life. Again, this isn't prosperity, but the ability to discern and face hard situations in life

In contrast, the woman of Folly is doing the exact same thing, at another high place, calling those who lead the same simple lives to come into her house. "Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!" (v. 17) She's calling the wayward to partake in the forbidden! Folly is also "simple and knows nothing." (v. 13). But, if we haven't figured it out by now, "little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead." (v. 18)
Being wayward, unguided, and unwise will lead to our destruction.

Minutes ago before writing this, I just saw a link about a pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama. It's an article that grieves me and infuriates me. I'm not going to link it. You can look for it yourself.
Basically, after 23 some years of ministry, he's admitted to not only having multiple affairs with several women in the congregation, but also having those affairs knowing he has AIDS, on top of the admission of drug use and misappropriation of church funds....

Yes.... let that sink in. It's going to hurt.

Not going to lie. I was pissed. Then confused as to why. Then grieving. All within seconds.
I'm saddened that this congregation was betrayed. I'm hoping that his open confession at the pulpit was a sign of repentance on his part. The pain will still sting. Severely.
I fear for the health of the women he was with. Not just for the medical part, which in itself is horrible, but the shame they might feel later.
I'm not condoning those actions, but grace needs to be deeper when the wound cuts this deep.

Folly was allowed to creep into the minds of a few... and it infected the many.

This is a fear I think most of us at feel, especially for me and my fellow classmates in seminary.
How does this education prepare me for that? What protects me from making those same mistakes?

And then I realize... the Wisdom of God... the Wisdom that made all things and will redeem the brokenness of all things, will guide us.

Yesterday I complained about how much I was reading about wisdom, but then remembered that we need those reminders because we WILL FORGET, as this pastor did.

Today, an elderly man I've never met before, who has served the nation of Turkey in missions for 32 years, gave me this little nugget of wisdom:

What's going on in your heart, mind, and soul? When you experience or learn something, write it down. Think through it. What is the Holy Spirit doing to transform your life?

This might seem hokie pokie to some, but he ended with this before he prayed for me:
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life." Psalm 143:8
I have put my trust in Jesus. I have no freaking clue where he's taking me in the next 30+ years, but I trust that He has me, and that He will continue to protect me and share His wisdom as I stumble through this life.

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