Friday, December 20, 2013

The Passion to Understand

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."   ... James 1:5


In Lois Lenski's book, Prairie School, Delores' sits with her mother and sick baby brother in a cold house while her father and brothers slog through snowdrifts to un-bury old railroad ties to split for firewood (her mother reminded her dad for months to buy coal). They're also digging miles of paths so their cows can eat from stacks of hay scattered everywhere and their expensive tractor lies buried (ruined) beneath the snow rather than resting inside their barn.

Sitting at my dining room table yesterday, Delores' mom's words got me all teary-eyed:

"(Delores asked) "Don't the cows get cold staying out all winter long with no food and no shelter?"

"Some of the cows die. One winter they all died--three-thousand dollars we lost. Plenty farmers lose their whole herd..."

"Does Christy need a doctor?" asked Delores.

"So many times we run," Mama went on, "we use gas, we have the old car, the truck, the tractor. We can take one or the other and run off to town... But in the winter time, when the big blizzard comes, and the baby lies sick, there is no car to take him to the doctor... it's broke down, it's got a flat tire ... and the truck and the tractor, they are gone."

The tears ran down Mama's cheeks and Delores could not bear to see it. She wanted to cheer her up, but she did not know how."

Oh, how it hurts me to see people not using wisdom. Especially when they choose to blame the economy, the President, nature, relatives, banks, parents, personal history, lack of schooling, neighbors, the Times and even God, Himself, for their own unwise Life choices (when that is the case. Yes, it's not always, but when we're honest, our impatience and not seeking God's plan often ruins things).

Lois Lenski wrote her regional series in the 40's, 50's and 60's (she'd visit folks, then write what she saw) and I'd love to believe that people nowadays have grown wiser--that they meticulously care for what they own, buy only what they need and always make God-led financial decisions concerning homes, vehicles, gifts, vacations and education.

But that's mostly wishful thinking.

The great news? Wisdom is still available in 2013 for anyone who's sick of disasters after choosing to live by their own brain, feelings and wrong desires:

"Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.  
Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding."  ... Proverbs 4:6,7

"Though it cost all you have ...!" Oh, to always live with such red-hot passion. To go after wisdom, to leave short-cuts and laziness alone.

God's ways are not ours so what becomes vital? Longing to know His ways--to put them into practice--with all our heart and our ways, on all our days.

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."   ... Ephesians 5:15-17

“It’s a puzzling thing.  The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth.’ And so it goes away. Puzzling.” – Robert M. Pirsig

“The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder


Mary said...

WOW......Just wow..

Anonymous said...

Tis many things in life are because of negligence in some earler decisions...hard to watch this in people we love, or experience ourselves. Well, life is for learning...
Elizabeth in NC

Echoes From the Hill said...

I found a saying that was, apparently, common during the Great Depression. "Use it up, Wear it out, make it do, or do without"

We could all improve our situations by voluntarily following principles that our ancestors were forced to practice.

I was listening to a financial radio program, recently. A man called in and said he and his wife were so far into credit card debt that they didn't see a way out. The financial adviser asked him how much they spent, on credit cards, on Black Friday. He replied, "About a thousand dollars". The radio show host said, "I give up!"