How Do we Do this Thing?

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As I woke up this morning, I laid awake thinking about today’s post. I opened my bible ap and read through Proverbs 4. As I read, I couldn’t help but keep hearing a little voice inside my head. That voice was loud and it was clear. It kept saying “who do you think you are?”

Committing to writing about God on a daily basis is far from what I thought I would be doing in 2019. In fact, the thought had never crossed my head. But for some strange, inexplicable reason, I know that I need to do this. What I have learned over the previous 3 days is that when I write about Proverbs it makes me slow down and be present with the words in the book, my thoughts and the words I write. As I spend this time alone it  has definitely made me feel more connected to God. So with that said, I want to answer that little voice and say, I don’t think I am anyone, I am just looking to gain a deeper understanding of what the Bible and God mean to me. So with that said, let’s move on from my own personal insecurities and look at Chapter 4.

Today as I read Chapter 4, the verse that stood out to me was verse number 13.

13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.

After I read this verse, the first thing that entered my mind is that in life there is no instruction manual. People are born, go to school, get married, have children and attempt to live a life worth living but nowhere along the line are we given an instruction manual to follow.

The best that we can hope for is that at some point in time we connect, are taught or are influenced by someone that is “wiser” than ourselves. Someone who instills in us the values that can help us live a fulfilled life. Unfortunately through our most influential years, 3-14, we don’t get to choose who those people are. For the most part, they are randomly assigned to us in the form of teachers, coaches, church leaders, friends and family.

During these years we are very impressionable. It’s best described by the old saying, monkey see, monkey do. We quickly adopt the attitudes and behaviors of those closest to us. We begin to walk, talk and sound like those that we spend the most time with, often our parents. It happens so often that we even have a sayings for it. Two that come to mind are “boy, the apple sure did fall far from the tree” or “that kid is a chip off the old block.”

While in many cases, this can be a good thing, often it is not and in those situations, children become lost or even worse they begin heading down the “wrong” path. I put quotes around the word wrong, because since there is no instruction manual that we are given when we are born into this life, “wrong” is really nothing more than our perception of right and wrong which in most part has been influenced by the family, society, and culture that we are raised.

Hopefully you are still with me and I haven’t bored you to death or lost you. If you are still with me, where does that leave us? For many, they continue to follow the beliefs, perceptions and behaviors they learned as a child, to their grave. For others, they break away from the patterns of their youth and find new influencers in their life and when they do, they adopt new patterns of belief and action.

In the last few weeks I have been intrigued by a series on HBO called Westworld. The series takes place in the future. Westworld is an amusement park of sorts where adults can go to play out their fantasies in the surroundings of the old west. What makes this series so intriguing to me is that the amusement park’s workers are actually life like robots called “hosts”. The “hosts” look, act, talk, bleed and even think like a human. They are so lifelike that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between them and the guests.

While watching, the other night, one of the main characters spoke to this very topic. He said,

“We can’t define consciousness because consciousness does not exist. Humans fancy that there’s something special about the way we perceive the world, and yet we live in loops as tight and as closed as the hosts do, seldom questioning our choices, content, for the most part, to be told what to do next.  ”

These “loops” that he speaks to about are exactly what happens to us. The difference is that instead of someone programming these loops into us like a programmer would program a robot, our programs are the result of the influencers in our life. The people we know, our community and our culture.

So what if you no longer want to be in that loop? What if you want to question what you are lead to believe is normal, since birth? Where would you go? Where would you find a commonly accepted instruction manual for life? In my opinion, that is where the Bible and fits in. When broken down to its simplest terms, the Bible is nothing more than an instruction manual on how God wants us to live our lives. What’s more interesting, is that because God gave us free will, we have the ability to choose whether or not we want to follow his instructions.

So when I read today’s verse: 13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. It is telling me that following the instructions that God has provided, will give me the greatest potential for living my best life. If I stray off track, following his instructions will help me get back on track to living my best life in the eyes of the lord.

Thanks for joining me today.

Have a great day

-Kevin

 

Proverbs 4

Get Wisdom at Any Cost

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;

pay attention and gain understanding.

I give you sound learning,

so do not forsake my teaching.

For I too was a son to my father,

still tender, and cherished by my mother.

Then he taught me, and he said to me,

“Take hold of my words with all your heart;

keep my commands, and you will live.

Get wisdom, get understanding;

do not forget my words or turn away from them.

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;

love her, and she will watch over you.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[a] wisdom.

Though it cost all you have,[b] get understanding.

Cherish her, and she will exalt you;

embrace her, and she will honor you.

She will give you a garland to grace your head

and present you with a glorious crown.”

10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,

and the years of your life will be many.

11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom

and lead you along straight paths.

12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;

when you run, you will not stumble.

13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;

guard it well, for it is your life.

14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked

or walk in the way of evildoers.

15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;

turn from it and go on your way.

16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;

they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.

17 They eat the bread of wickedness

and drink the wine of violence.

18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,

shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;

they do not know what makes them stumble.

20 My son, pay attention to what I say;

turn your ear to my words.

21 Do not let them out of your sight,

keep them within your heart;

22 for they are life to those who find them

and health to one’s whole body.

23 Above all else, guard your heart,

for everything you do flows from it.

24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;

keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;

fix your gaze directly before you.

26 Give careful thought to the[c] paths for your feet

and be steadfast in all your ways.

27 Do not turn to the right or the left;

keep your foot from evil.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 4:7 Or Wisdom is supreme; therefore get
  2. Proverbs 4:7 Or wisdom. / Whatever else you get
  3. Proverbs 4:26 Or Make level

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