Gaining godly wisdom
I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life. Proverbs 4:11-13
When birthdays come, they remind us of how time had lapsed. They can provide significant points in the passing of time. But there are times we do not notice how fast time had passed. It goes so quietly, so consistently that we can miss it if we are not paying attention. This is why we have to mark these milestones in life and make our stay here on this side of eternity matters. As C.S. Lewis used to say: “The safest road to hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. The long, dull, monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather [for the devil].” God brings about birthdays to provide us lifelines. We do mark it in our calendar once every year to enable us to make an annual appraisal. God wants us to not only measure the length of life but our depth. Birthday is not just telling us we are growing older. It helps us determine if we are also growing deeper. And growth does not happen automatically like that adding of year in our age that happens every year. From the text, King Solomon was admonishing the readers to learn how to grow having godly wisdom. He tells us that we “don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.” The psalmist gives us the prayer to pray every year our birthday comes around. “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Having and growing in godly wisdom does not happen automatically. It is a by-product of our growing relationship with God. It is the result of applying godly principles when we are about to make decisions in life. It is learning how to appropriate biblical principles to our daily circumstances. It is not about trying to do great things for God, but it is more of being faithful to the small and obscure tasks we face each day. How are you growing as “you number your days?” Can you find signposts or marks of wisdom? Remember the brevity or the shortness of life on this side of eternity.