Blindness: The Best Medicine

​In my Monday night group, we’re studying the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul, and we were asked why we thought God would strike Paul blind to get His point across. Was it to simply humble him, or did God have something else in mind on that fateful day on the road to Damascus?

Among the possible reasons we came up with were: 1) When one sense is taken away, we compensate through one or more of our other senses, so maybe blindness obliged Paul to listen; and 2) Sometimes, drastic measures are called for so that we may “see” what God is saying.

Listening is, by far, the one thing humankind struggles with the most. We have been given eyes to “see” and ears to “hear,” but we can’t seem to coordinate their use. When we see, we seldomly listen, and listening is paramount to recognizing the voice of Wisdom, the voice of God.

Like Paul, we can become so convinced of our own wisdom that we can’t even see what is right in front of our faces. We think we know, and we’re passionate about it, even when what we “know” is completely wrong. We tend to live life in a bubble of our own making, and when we look for validity, we tend to only see those things that confirm our correctness, our righteousness, giving us a false sense truth. That’s why we are told that we shouldn’t worry about the speck in our neighbor’s eye, when we have a board in our own. It’s because we look at the world with impaired vision, and reality is more vast than our limited scope can comprehend, and perhaps, being struck blind is what we need, when we can’t see any other point of view but our own, when our prejudice gets in the way of our ability to see the truth.

Often times, it does, indeed, take something drastic to stop us in our tracks. A bolt from the blue is exactly what is needed, a shock to our senses meant to get our attention, to help us reevaluate what we think we know, to make us see things in a new way. Paul’s whole life changed after that fateful day. His blindness gave him the chance to listen, to evaluate in a new light, God’s light, all he had learned and studied up to that point in his life. Sometimes blindness the best medicine to show us how we’ve been blind, to humble us with the light of truth, and to send us down a whole new road.

~SLM

Proverbs 6:20-35 When You Play with Fire

Once again, we visit the subject of adultery. So what’s with adultery, and why does Solomon seem to have been so obsessed with the subject?  Maybe the story of his father and mother and how they came to be a couple played a part in his fixation, or maybe he thought the subject was of such importance that it bore repeating.  Actually, if you think about it, the later does warrant some consideration.  Other than to God, marriage is the most important commitment we can make, and how we handle the challenges of our pledge defines us as human beings. If we run at the first sign of trouble, if we are shallow in our obligation, or if we are cavalier about our faithfulness, it is a direct reflection upon our character, upon who we are within our heart of hearts. When you play with fire, you get burned, and if we are superficial in this, one of life’s most important endeavors, showing that we cannot be trusted to keep our word, then the consequence follows us throughout our lives.

Therefore, listen to the voice of wisdom; keep the word close to your heart, tied around your neck like a precious jewel. Dwell in the word for it is your light, and its discipline is the way to life.  God’s instructions will lead you when you walk, protect you when you sleep, advise you when you wake, and following his will keeps us focused on truth, on desirable action, and on the importance of faithfulness.

~SLM

Proverbs 6:12-19 The Shit Disturber & The Big 6

After telling us that we should be as hard-working as the ant, Solomon advises which direction that industry should take. Wisdom dictates that unless we want our lives to be ruled by ruin and catastrophe, we need to avoid talking out of both sides of our mouths, saying one thing and doing another, cooking up devious plots to bring disaster on others, and being a “shit” disturber.  He even outlines six behaviors that the Eternal One despises. They are:

  • People who look down on others,
  • A liar,
  • Those who hurt the innocent,
  • People who harbor evil in their hearts,
  • Someone who willing takes a wicked path,
  • A false witness.

Wisdom calls us to look upon others with compassion and love, never in haughty arrogance, or from a position of superiority.  Liars and those who would willingly make up stories about others are people who cannot be trusted. Someone who harbors evil desires in their heart and who would harm the innocent are faithless reprobates, and are not the kind of people the wise associate with. These are all behaviors that God hates, that speak against God’s laws, and that open up a world of hurt and misfortune for those who follow their teaching.  And, as if to underscore what he had just said, he adds the “shit” disturber to his list.

Wisdom calls on us to follow God’s laws, to write them on the tablet of our hearts, to live our lives every day according to His will, to seek Him first among all things.

~SLM

Proverbs 3:13-26 Obtaining Peace

True understanding and its application to our daily lives is a commodity more valuable than silver or gold and more precious than rare jewels. Nothing we can accumulate can serve us better than wisdom. She forces us to turn inward, to be introspective and to understand the difference between those things which we can and cannot change. When we accept the unchangeable, the unknowable, and rely on trust, on the omnipotence of God’s plan for all things, and have faith in his ability to provide, then we can walk securely, we can sleep soundly, we can have no fear of wickedness when it visits, and we will sit in the seat of sound discretion with confidence.

When we find wisdom and have true understanding, exercising it daily with all whom we meet and in all that we do, our lives become a blessed expression of the holy spirit of God, a sacred song of compassion and love. For it is wisdom which guides us through the obstacle course of life and through her we find peace.
~SLM

Proverbs 1:20-33 When Wisdom Speaks…

This portion of Proverbs 1 conjures up such mental images for me. I’m reminded of the scene in The Matrix, where Neo wants to run, and Trinity opens the car door and tells him he’s free to go. The camera pans toward the open door, and a long dark road can be seen through the pouring rain. As they both look toward the deserted road, Trinity says, “is this what you really want Neo? You’ve been down that road before, and we both know where it ends.”

Even though the scene in the movie is a dark and deserted street, I see a correlation with the description in verses 20-23. I can just see wisdom standing at the end of a bustling street, shouting for all she’s worth…”listen, listen to me.  Don’t do it, don’t go there, you won’t like the result! Turn back now, while there’s still time! Listen, LISTEN!”  And, as the people all rush past her, they look at her as if she’s totally lost her mind and her insanity is a contagious disease that they might contract by being near her.  But later, when all of her predictions have been realized, they lament their predicament, and ask where she was when they needed her, why was she not there to help them? Both of these scenes are about choices, about listening to that inner voice that wants to “pour its heart out and make its thoughts known.” Wisdom was there all along, they just didn’t recognize her as they rushed past with a disgusted look on their faces, and they never took the time to stop, to seek, or to listen.

So this is what I think the riddle means: When seeking wisdom it’s so important to stop, to consider, and to listen.  Seek the counsel of God, of your parents, your trusted friends. So many times we rush head-long into situations, never considering the consequences of our actions, and when it all turns out wrong, we’re ready to blame anybody, everybody, but ourselves. We wonder why Wisdom (or God), seems to have abandoned us, and in reality, we never sought her out, or if we did, we didn’t heed her direction.

The chapter ends with “but he who listens to me will dwell in safety, untouched by the terror of misfortune.”  Such truth these words speak. To live a “wise” life, we must seek wise counsel, be still and listen, hear what Wisdom (AKA God) has to say about it, and do not turn from the truth because it presents itself in a form that we may not recognize.

~SLM