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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Why is there string tied to your finger?

Forgetting to do something important can be disastrous. I remember a time when I forgot to close the oil drain petcock of the 4600 Manitowoc dragline on which I worked. We would change motor oil and filters in the two engines of this earthmoving machine every two weeks. On one particular day, I was busily working on my engine, changing filters, and preparing to receive new motor oil into the crankcase. I like to think that multitasking is my claim to fame.... (It isn't.)

We stationed the 55 gallon drum, flipped the switch of the electric transfer pump, and began filling the engines. About five minutes into the procedure on my engine, I heard the dozer man rolling closer and closer to the dragline. The noise was quite frustrating and well...annoying. I grumbled about the operator's lack of courtesy and briefly stuck my head out the back door to shoot a glare toward the man. He didn't stop approaching the drag. In fact, he pulled right up alongside our machine, dropped the blade, and shut his dozer off. He got out and yelled, "Hey, you have motor oil running out the bottom of the dragline." (The glare on my face left quickly.)

"My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live;

guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your

heart." (Proverbs 7:1-3, NIV)

There are times in life when we all need a healthy reminder of our mistakes and sometimes those reminders come to us when we are unaware we are even making mistakes. Wisdom is a much sought after commodity. Those who seek it understand the learning aspect involved. Gathering knowledge is one thing, but processing knowledge into wisdom demands humility, dilligence, and patience.

God offers us knowledge and wisdom from the Bible. We read it, pray for the Holy Spirit to translate it to us, and then attempt to internalize these rich nuggets of gold into our lives. The above text from Proverbs 7 illustrates the principles involved in living within the safe confines of wisdom. Godly wisdom helps us, guides us, protects us, and informs us. Wisdom gives us life!

Perhaps you have lost your way today and are dumping precious resources out on the ground. Maybe you need to hear the advice from someone near you. Those folks who have a different perspective can often be able to divert you away from an impending tragedy. Tie the wisdom of God around your finger to remind you to seek godly counsel. Tie the string around your finger to remind you to listen.

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