Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Experience is often the best Teacher

Is Wisdom = Lessons From Life's Mistakes?

Is it me or are days, weeks, months and years becoming shorter and shorter these days?  It seems to me that this years is moving at a greater speed than the last.  I suppose its true... time really does fly when you're  having fun.  Nevertheless, its my hope you’ve had a great start of 2013 and are looking forward to great successes ahead!

I recently read in a blog that it helps when parents talk to their children about things that are important to them, even when it may not be in the purview of their liking or wishes as it could very well impact their future significantly.  The author of the blog went on to list such topics as family history, finances, economy, wealth and money as areas warranting the chat.  He added that by engaging kids in this regard, it helps ease their fears when some of life’s challenges and inevitable came upon us.  Recently, I happen to be reading the Bible in quest for an answer to a particular issue that I needed to address, and while at it; I noted that David, one of the greatest Kings of Israel took time to speak with his son Solomon about what was to come.  He informed him that God had promised him that his son not he, would be the one to build the Temple of the Lord, and so he encouraged Solomon to keep the ways of God.  David told Solomon, “Only may the lord give you wisdom and understanding and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the Lord your God.  Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the Lord charged Moses concerning Israel.  Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (I Chronicles 23: 12-13 NKJV)   

Upon reading these lines, I found myself thinking of how am often wowed that unlike me Solomon knew exactly what to ask God for when He appeared to him.  I don’t know about you, but I have often asked myself the question; would I really have the insight or know how to ask for Wisdom apart from all the other needs or things and demands on my list?  Frankly, I don’t think I would ask for wisdom if God appeared to me right now, perhaps I would,  I don’t know; but I sure have a list of things that I think are more prominent to address and ask for, but WISDOM??  Only God knows.   Needless to say, I was overwhelmed by the notion that as a parent, David took time to share his heart and the things that the Lord had shown him candidly without sugar coding the details.  In fact, he come clean by pointing out that God did not want him to build the Temple (house of God) because he had shed much blood and had made great wars in the sight of God (paraphrased).    

I am not a parent yet, but this kind candor jolted me for a moment and had me ponder if I would dare …or be willing to come clean to my children like this; admitting that I have many faults and made many errors in life or would I just want the image of ‘mom in control’ be the only hallmark of what my children carry with them?  I don’t know.   Reasons being one, I don’t have children yet and lastly; because frankly speaking as much as I wish to say yes or no now, I really don’t think I can be objective now, but possible could when faced with the matter head on or on the test.  That said, I think it helps to point out that it is key to engage our children heart to heart with truthfulness especially because it could very well be the only thing they may remember—when faced with various situations much later in life and/or when we are nowhere in sight to help.  Too, we may never know how this may shape their life ahead as it did for King Solomon.   

In conclusion, I believe it was not coincidental that when the Lord appeared to Solomon and asked what he desired; Solomon already knew and remembered the words of his father David—‘may the Lord give you WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING…’  The Bible tells us that this was exactly Solomon’s prayer when the Lord appeared to him in the night.   The Scriptures states, “… "Ask! What shall I give you?" And Solomon said to God: …Now give me wisdom and knowledge that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?" And God said to Solomon: "Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life--but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king; wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like."  (II Chronicles 1:7-12 NKJV)

I grew up with a grandpa who often used riddles and short stories to share his wit on life.   Most of his stories ended with the proverbial saying ‘Knowledge is Power’.   In hindsight, I find it rather ironic as I go through life and often don’t know what to do until after I have been over the hump in most cases.  How I wish I could have seen it coming… am sure you’ll agree hindsight is indeed 20/20.  However, I thank God there always lessons learned—and when I find myself on the same test over and over again, I cannot help but pen down or more appropriately type up the lessons learned.  Like David, I look forward to share them with my children some day.   Some argue that WISDOM is better than money, thus leaving me to wonder if there is anyway to gain Wisdom without having to experience some of life’s inevitable drills?!  Whatever the case, it makes me flinch when I find myself paying for ignorance over and over again …Ouch, how it hurts!   

What about you?  Want to share some of your past memorable phrases or grandma/pa wits?