1 Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a boy in my father's house,
still tender, and an only child of my mother,
4 he taught me and said,
"Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or swerve from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will set a garland of grace on your head
and present you with a crown of splendor."
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
11 I guide 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 evil men.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot sleep till they do evil;
they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
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;
listen closely 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 a man's whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
24 Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.
27 Do not swerve to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
Wisdom. I suppose wisdom is what we all pray for in all circumstances but sometimes I think we think we are wiser than we really are, especially when we are young. Some of the stupid mistakes I made I certainly wish I could go back and change, but even by making those stupid mistakes I did get wiser. Well, maybe not wiser, but certainly learned that I can’t rely on my own judgment without first taking my problem or question to God. Even now I tend to forget and plow into making some decision that proves to be the worst decision I could have made and then remember I left God out of the equation.
Painting is like that too. You can’t just pick up paint with a brush and expect to create a perfect painting. You need to study, observe, and think first. After you paint what feels like a million paintings you begin to understand what the paint will do and what it will not do. Then paintings seem to flow off your brush and you develop your own style much like developing your writing hand, your penmanship. I’m still waiting for that to happen to me. The learning curve seems so long but still I enjoy the journey.
Once I painted with a group where we looked out over sand dunes across from some barrier islands. The challenge was to paint a canvas in an hour or less and then move over a few feet and paint another canvas. Most of us painted three during the day and I have to tell you it was really a learning experience for me that I won’t forget quickly especially fighting the bugs, sun, sand and wind. Still God gave us a glorious day and fond memories of friendship and for that I am thankful. I’m thankful too for the lessons He teaches me each day as I study His word, keep them in my heart, and learn to go to Him with everything.
I’ve shared these with you before, but here they are again… and now you know the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say.