Grace and Beauty (so I’ll know how to live)

Standard

Today I started my day by reading Proverbs 4 in The Message by Eugene Peterson. When I’m not sure where to start reading in the Bible I turn to the Proverb of the day. The days of the month coincide with the chapters of the book. Today is Jan 4, 2010.  As I think about the new year; resolutions (or goals), plans, dreams and priorities, it was good to be reminded of a few simple truths. Here is the whole passage, to see how these verses impacted me today click through to read more.

Proverbs 4 The Message

by Eugene Peterson

Your Life Is at Stake

1-2 Listen, friends, to some fatherly advice; sit up and take notice so you’ll know how to live.
I’m giving you good counsel;
don’t let it go in one ear and out the other.

3-9 When I was a boy at my father’s knee,
the pride and joy of my mother,
He would sit me down and drill me:
Take this to heart. Do what I tell you—live!
Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding!

Don’t forget one word! Don’t deviate an inch!
Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life;
love her—she keeps her eye on you.
Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom!
Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!
Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it;
never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious.
She’ll garland your life with grace,
she’ll festoon your days with beauty.”

10-15 Dear friend, take my advice;
it will add years to your life.
I’m writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way,
I’m drawing a map to Righteous Road.
I don’t want you ending up in blind alleys,
or wasting time making wrong turns.
Hold tight to good advice; don’t relax your grip.
Guard it well—your life is at stake!
Don’t take Wicked Bypass;
don’t so much as set foot on that road.
Stay clear of it; give it a wide berth.
Make a detour and be on your way.

16-17 Evil people are restless
unless they’re making trouble;
They can’t get a good night’s sleep
unless they’ve made life miserable for somebody.
Perversity is their food and drink,
violence their drug of choice.

18-19 The ways of right-living people glow with light;
the longer they live, the brighter they shine.
But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker—
travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.

Learn It by Heart

20-22 Dear friend, listen well to my words;
tune your ears to my voice.
Keep my message in plain view at all times.
Concentrate! Learn it by heart!
Those who discover these words live, really live;
body and soul, they’re bursting with health.

23-27 Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
leave evil in the dust.

“Listen, friends, to some fatherly advice; sit up and take notice so you’ll know how to live. I’m giving you good counsel; don’t let it go in one ear and out the other.”

These are words from a friend, fatherly advice worth listening to. I am in need of good counsel and here it is, I want to sit up and take notice so that I will know how to live.

“Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding!”

When I think of my priorities and how to spend the time I have each new day, I’m reminded that Wisdom will require sacrifice and effort. It’s worth selling everything and foraging (searching, pursuing, working) for true understanding.

“Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom!
Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!
Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it;
never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious.
She’ll garland your life with grace,
she’ll festoon your days with beauty.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about beauty. My desire to Add To The Beauty (as Sara Groves eloquently describes in her CD and title cut song) is a deep passion. To picture my life garland with Grace and my days festooned with Beauty gives me a focus worth holding onto. I’m a list person. I like to write things down on paper and cross them off as I complete them. I’m reminded here at the top of the list is Wisdom and Understanding. An interesting path to Grace and Beauty. I want to ponder that today.

“Dear friend, listen well to my words;
tune your ears to my voice.
Keep my message in plain view at all times.
Concentrate! Learn it by heart!
Those who discover these words live, really live;
body and soul, they’re bursting with health.”

I need to listen well…..these are words from a Friend who loves me and wants what is best for me. I need to tune my ears to His voice. This will require concentration, keeping these truths in plain view will help me learn them by heart. To discover these words I can live, really live. I long for my body and soul to be bursting with health.

“Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts.”

Life starts in my heart…therefore I must keep a vigilant watch over it. Some of the practical ways I keep watch over my heart is by following this advice:

“Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,..”

“and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
leave evil in the dust.”

I’m looking for the road I am to travel on…I long to see it stretched out and smooth before me.

My prayer today Lord, is that you grant me Wisdom and Understanding so that I’ll know how to live in a way that reflects Your Grace and Beauty. Amen

Advertisements

3 responses »

  1. I’ve always loved that Solomon wrote Wisdom as feminine. and that really the only way to get her is through relationship with Her. It’s not an intellectual treaty. wisdom, she don’t make bargains. remember the Mary Engelbreit card? Queens don’t make bargains? it’s really this simple: anything truly feminine is only gotten through LOVE. aka, Death. You gotta die for her. I feel that as a woman, don’t you? If you throw your arms around me and never let me go and you want me and you love me: I will open up and give you untold treasure! I’m all about festooning! but there’s only one way to get the REAL festooning. Lot’s of fake festooning going on, if you get my drift. But hey, it’s only my opinion, man.

  2. festoon [fɛˈstuːn]
    n
    1. a decorative chain of flowers, ribbons, etc., suspended in loops; garland
    2. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Art Terms) a carved or painted representation of this, as in architecture, furniture, or pottery

    vb (tr)
    1. to decorate or join together with festoons
    2. to form into festoons
    [from French feston, from Italian festone ornament for a feast, from festa feast]

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 6th Edition 2003.

  3. Thanks J. now I’m pondering what it looks like ‘have relationship’ with Wisdom. Sounds beautiful, poetic and yes – describes what I feel as a woman ‘want me, throw your arms around me, never let me go…’. But it doesn’t sound simple….die for Wisdom? Die to what? foolishness?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s