The Search For Wisdom – Part 4

And so, this morning we’re going to look at several more of these daily practices that will put us on that path that leads to wisdom. We said the first daily practice is to know God.

And the first one this morning we want to look at is how can we know ourselves? You know, Calvin, John Calvin began his massive work, the Institute of the Christian Religion with this sentence, “Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom consists of two parts, the knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves.”

I like the way Dallas Willard put it. He says, “if you’re going to take care of something in this life, you’ve got to understand it.” For instance, if my neighbor is leaving for the summer and says, Richard, I want you to take care of my rose bushes. If he didn’t give me any instructions or how to care for them, those rose bushes would die, because I don’t understand anything about growing roses and nourishing roses. And this is true of whether it’s a rosebush, a car engine, an airplane. And what Willard’s trying to say, if we want to care for our lives, we must understand them.

Not long ago, I was reading an interview that Bob Buford had with a guy that I have tremendous respect for, Peter Drucker. Drucker is 95 years old and still kicking, and he’s probably considered the greatest management consultant to ever live. He’s very highly revered and highly regarded, and I think is a man with a great deal of wisdom. And he said in this interview that to know your strengths and weaknesses is critical if you’re going to determine the role you play in this life. And he says, I quote, “when you know who you are, you’ll be comfortable in making decisions about your future.” And he gave an example, he said, “a number of years ago, I turned down an incredible offer to be the chief economist for Goldman Sachs. Not only would it bring a huge income, but as you probably know, it’s a very visible position.”

But he said, “I turned it down because I realized with my gifts and abilities, I could contribute more to American business by developing principles of management and making them useful to those companies who would apply them.”

So, it’s important for us to know who we are, to know our strengths, our abilities, what we’re passionate about, and particularly if we’re going to connect with what we’ll do with our lives. Now, just as important to recognize our strengths and our talents and our abilities, just as important is that we recognize our limitations and our flaws and our weaknesses and our sinfulness. Blaise Pascal says, and these are pretty harsh words, he says, “truly, it is an evil to be full of faults, but it’s still a greater evil to be full of them and be unwilling to recognize them.”

I believe, guys, this is crucial, particularly if we desire to change course and walk down the path that leads to wisdom. I mean, it’s like any of you know this. If any of you play golf, you go take a golf lesson, the first thing they do today is they film your golf swing. And they do it for one primary reason. To determine what are the flaws in your swing. The only way you’re going to get better, the only way you’re going to transform your golf game is to recognize your flaws. And the thing about it is, almost every time, if you ever take a golf lesson, they point out your flaws, and you are clueless that that flaw exists. We are so blind to our flaws.

Another good example of this in literature was in Dickens’ “Christmas Carol”, Ebenezer, Scrooge. You know, Scrooge thought he was the most generous, wonderful man in this community. He lent money to everybody, at exorbitant interest rates. He gave Bob Kratt every Christmas day off, and yet he had no idea what a despicable miserly old man he was. Until the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present, the ghost of Christmas future comes and visits him, and he wakes up on Christmas morning having seen what he’s really like, and he says, “I will no longer be the man that I have been”.

You see, the same thing happened in scripture with David. I mean, think about this, David. Here he is, king David. He commits adultery, the woman he commits adultery with gets pregnant, and ultimately, to cover what he’s done, he has her husband killed. And you know what? There is no, he feels no remorse, no guilt, no nothing. He feels just fine about what he’s done until he’s confronted by Nathan. And Nathan, very wisely, using an illustration, shows what he’s done and when he sees how despicable he’s been, it breaks him. He’s humbled. He’s a broken man. And if that had not happened, David was on his way into the ditch. But he finished his life strongly because he saw what he had done. He paid a huge price for it, but it truly transformed the path that he was on. And I guess the question is, are we willing to take a good hard look at ourselves? That’s a very difficult thing for a lot of men, but I believe it’s critical if we’re going to ever become wise?

And what before we look at two daily practices, I that’ll help us better understand ourselves. I want to mention if one of the things that’s really helped my wife and I in our marriage is, if you’re not, I don’t know whether you’re familiar with or not, it’s called the Myers Briggs test. You ought to take it, each of you, because you’ll learn a lot about each other and how to respond to each other and deal with each other.

The second comment on make is this, and ask this question, how well do we handle criticism? You know, wisdom welcomes criticism, and yet I don’t know about you, but if you, you know, I found this in business. Don’t you criticize somebody, you maybe you’re critiquing their job performance and any flaw you point out, I mean, we’re defensive, and yet the Scripture says, wise people welcome criticism? In fact, in Proverbs 15, verses 31 and 32 (Proverbs 15:31-32), it says, he who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding. The NIV says, he who heeds correction, the fear of the Lord is instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility, verse 31, he who he whose ear listens to life giving or proof will dwell among the wise.

But how does one daily self-examine himself? How do we see ourselves, our hearts, the way we really are?

In Hebrews chapter four, verse 12 (Hebrews 4:12), it says, the word of God is living in active and sharper than a two-edged sword, than it goes on to say, and it penetrates our lives. And then the last phrase of the verse is, it reveals the thoughts and the intentions of the heart. Now, that’s another reason God’s word is so important. Not only is it the way God speaks to us and communicates to us, but it acts as a spiritual mirror that reveals who we are in our souls. As someone said, a guy who is not a Christian who read the Bible for the first time made this remark, he said, I finally have found a book that understands me and who I am. So, the Scripture is important as a spiritual mirror to allow us to see ourselves the way we really are.

But this second practice, this is a daily practice that has truly been life changing for me personally, comes from Matthew chapter seven, verses three through five (Matthew 7:3-5), where Jesus says, why is it that you notice the speck that’s in your brother’s eye, but you don’t see the log that’s in your own? You see, that’s the problem with us as people. We so easily see faults in others, but those same faults we’re just blind to in our own lives. And so, daily, one of my prayers before God is, Lord, show me the logs in my eye. Show me the logs in my life. Show me what’s true of my heart. Because in Matthew seven, it says, once we remove the logs from our lives, it says, you can see clearly, you can see clearly. And this whole talk on wisdom is talking about the ability to see, to perceive reality. This is what David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24, he says, search me oh God, and know my heart and see if there’d be any hurtful way in me.

And let me tell you, this is what I found to be true. If I ask God continually on a daily basis to reveal to me my heart, my shortcomings, my sinfulness, He does respond. He is faithful to respond. And let me just, let me just warn you, it’s not pretty when you see your heart, it’s often not very pretty. But what it does is it, I find that it strips me of my self-righteousness. It humbles me. And this is a good thing, particularly when you think of what it says in Proverbs 11:2. It says, with the humble, there is wisdom. With the humble, there is wisdom.

And I think, guys, this is the great paradox. It is that wise people recognize how inadequate they are and how much they need God’s wisdom. And if you think about it, as we said, wisdom is being in touch with reality. And the one reality that is most crucial to know is who we are. So, that’s a second daily practice. So, we’ve talked about knowing God, second, knowing ourselves, and this third one is critical. To know what influences us and who influences us. You remember in that second session, I quote Blaise Pascal, when he said, people have such a hard time with life because they live with false ideas about reality, and therefore they need to be uprooted and replaced with truth. But have we ever thought step back and thought and asked ourselves, where do we get false ideas about life? Well, we generally get it from other people, our ideas, and generally we’re influenced by other people, whether it’s the people we spend time with, the people whose books we read, or the people who make our television shows, our movies, our music, other people influence us, I think more so than we think.

Listen to what we’re told in Proverbs. Look at Proverbs 13:20. He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. We read in I Corinthians 15:33, it says, Do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good morals. Now, whenever we read that, I find most guys think of their children and think of peer pressure, but it’s kind of like, but this has no application to me. But why do you think he says, there’s four times in the Bible that says, do not be deceived, and this is one of them. And I think that little phrase is used because we are so easily deceived. And that’s why he says, do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good morals. You know, like I said, we think sometimes that whether our companions or those who make our movies or TV shows to watch, they can’t corrupt me. I’m incorruptible, but I think we know that that is not true.

Robert Coles, who is a child psychiatrist at Harvard, he’s probably the most prominent professor on their whole faculty staff. He teaches in the undergraduate school, he teaches in their medical school, but he’s also taught in their law school and their business school. And he shares this one simple quote, “Show me a man’s companions, and I’ll show you his character.”

C.S. Lewis says, “the next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” We need wise people in our lives.

And I have to share with you this quote from Warren Buffett. You know, Buffett’s in his late seventies and he’s got a kind of his sidekick, his partner for years is a guy named Charlie Munger. Munger’s 81 and I can’t remember how old Buffett is. But every year Berkshire Hathaway has their annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. And they rent the Civic Center, which holds, I mean, I think 12, 15,000 and they fill it up and they take questions for hours. And back in 2004, while they were taking questions, a young man, 14-year-old Justin Fong, a shareholder from California, asked for advice on succeeding in life. “Buffett and Munger don’t mince words”, the article says, and this is what Buffet said, “hang out with people whose behavior is better than yours, and then you’ll drift in the right direction.” And then Munger, who’s a crusty old guy, says, “and if this gives you a little temporary unpopularity with your peer group, to hell with them.”

As we consider daily practices as it relates to what influences us, obviously we can keep certain things out of our lives. That’s why it says, watch over your heart with all diligence for from your heart flows, the springs of life. We can guard our hearts against a lot of things, but I think it’s important to pursue wise people. Spend time with people you can learn from. I try on a monthly basis to spend time with several men who are a lot smarter than I am, a lot wiser than I am. And I’ll have breakfast with them or meet with them. And I’ll ask, I always go with questions in mind to ask them. Obviously, you can read good books and let me just say this, I know some of you say, well, I’m not much of a reader. I’m not saying read a large quantity of books, even though that’s something I love to do. But read quality books, read quality authors, people that are going to dispense meaningful truth to you. I try to find authors that I feel like are just incredibly wise and are great teachers, and I try to read everything they write. Like Dallas Willard, Alistair McGrath, Philip Yancey. Philip Yancey would be, if you’re looking for something, Philip Yancey would be a great place to start. He’s written some wonderful books. And learn how to read a book. Don’t just read it but try to find the most important points in the book and write them down and try to memorize them.

One of the things that I’ve recently started doing, and I’ve really, it’s been a discipline, is in my car, I’ve started out every day, I try to listen to either a sermon, a lecture, or whatever. And I found that over the course of a week, I can listen to four or five. And it’s amazing. There’s something that always seems to impact my heart and my soul or my mind when I do this. It’s a great way to use that dead time in your car. And then always, guys, always seek wise counsel when you need it, or maybe even when you don’t need it.

But Proverbs is really big on that, whether you’re running in your business, with your marriage, with your children, they’re always going to be people out there who are much wiser than we are. And that’s why the scripture, I’ll read a couple of verses. Proverbs 13:10 says, through insolence comes nothing but strife, but wisdom is with those who receive counsel. Proverbs 15:22 says, without consultation, plans are frustrated but with many counselors, they succeed. Proverbs 12:15, the way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

And one of the things I found and, and observed is that so many men who are very successful in running businesses, one of their keys to success is they surround themselves with really good people and they listen to them. They listen to their input, they listen to their counsel.

Tim Keller makes this great point. He says, “You will never find wisdom by yourself. We need mentors. We need wise friends. We need people who can give us wise counsel. The fool is an individualist who does not believe he needs anyone else’s counsel. His mindset is this, I do not need anyone else’s advice. I know what I want and I know the path of life that’ll take me there. That is the mindset of a fool.”

So we’ve said, know God, know self, know what influences us, and number four, know the principles of life and then seek how to convert them into life’s best practices. And I’m assuming you’re familiar with that business term ‘best practices’, the best way to do something. You see, all of life we’ve been talking about has an underlying structure. There are certain universal principles that are built into life, and we violate them at our own peril. And you see, the way of wisdom seeks to discern and understand these principles and then live in harmony with them. The way of the fool is to completely ignore these principles, because the inner thought is, I’m going to live the way I want to live, and I’m going to live by my own principles.

And what modern people fail to see is eventually reality forces us to honor that inner structure. One of my favorite illustrations goes back to the 1960s and looking at this age group, some of you or might have been right in that group. But this is an illustration from Tom Wolfe regarding a bunch of hippies living in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco. “You see, their desire was to completely dispense with the structure that Western culture lived by. Everything that we did, they just wanted to get rid of it and start afresh, start from nothing, start from ground zero.” And he said, “they started and one of the first things that they decided was to get rid of hygiene because it was a middle class hangup that they best could do without. So they decided to live without it. For example, baths and showers, while not actually banned, were frowned upon.” Wolf said, he was intrigued by these hippies who said “they sought nothing less than to sweep aside all codes, all restraints, all structure of the past, and start from zero to be totally autonomous.”

He said, “but before long, the hippies aversion to modern hygiene had consequences that were as unpleasant as they were unforeseen.” Wolf gives this description, I quote, “at the Haight Ashbury free clinic, there were doctors who were treating diseases no living doctor had ever encountered before. Diseases that had disappeared so long ago that they’d never even picked up Latin names such as the mange, the grunge, the scruff, and the rot. The itching and the manginess began to vex these hippies, leading them to seek help from the local free clinic. Step by step, they had to rediscover for themselves the necessity of modern hygiene.” You see, in the physical realm, there’s this inner structure, and if you don’t follow it, there are consequences. But also, spiritually and just living our lives, there are certain principles, there’s a certain fabric to life. If we don’t honor it, we pay a consequence.

And so, a big part of living wisely is being able to perceive these underlying principles and live in accordance with them. And if you think about it, the principles that we’re talking about impact us relationally in our work life, financially and spiritually. And I believe it starts, this is important, it starts by recognition that there is an inner structure out there and that you want to honor it. I mean, that’s the problem I think parents have with their kids is they see their kids fight it and fight it and fight it, and you see them pay the consequences. But for us, we need to realize there is this, this inner structure and we need to discern what it is, and we need to honor it. And we do this primarily, I believe, through the Scriptures and through the wisdom literature and through why otherwise people that can impart those to us. But in Proverbs 2:2, it talks about you have to pursue this though. You’ve got to seek it, you have to look for it. It says, make your I attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding, seek her as you would seek for silver and search for her as hidden treasure.

And for me personally, guys, whether searching the Scriptures, reading, listening to tapes, talking to wise people, there needs to be an in inquisitiveness there, a desire to discern and understand, hoping to perceive the wisdom of God. And I’m convinced that if we can do that and bring our lives into harmony with the principles of life, it will lead to our well-being and our family’s well-being.

Number five, I could spend a lot of time on this and I just, I’m not going to be able to, but let me just share this. Knowing the purpose of trials and difficulty in life. You see, modern people will do anything to avoid painful circumstances and in the process, we’ll often make foolish decisions to avoid pain. But what you see in the Scripture, wisdom doesn’t avoid suffering. I mean, it’s not that it goes looking for it, but it doesn’t avoid it. What wisdom does, it transforms suffering into greater wisdom.

In fact, a wise person recognizes, as the Bible says, that the storms of life are going to coming and we have to prepare for it. The fool lives as if life will always go well, and there’ll never be any hardship. You know, that’s what Jesus says in Matthew seven. Any of you who hear my words or these words and follows them, will be compared to a wise man who builds his house on a rock. And the winds come and the rains come, and the storms come and beat against that house. And it stands firm because it was founded upon the rock. And then he goes on to say, he who hears these words of mine and fails to act upon him may be compared to a fool who built his house on the sand. And the winds come and the rain comes, and the storms come and beat against that house and it falls because it had been built on the sand. Either we’re building our lives on the rock or we’re building our lives on the sand. But listen to this, wherever you build your house, Jesus says, and it’s almost a prophecy, He’s almost saying, you can say, He’s saying, you need to know this, the storms in life are going to come your way, regardless of who you are, they are going to come into your life. And He’s telling us in advance that we can be prepared for the storms of life. But when difficulty, in fact does come, wisdom does not resent or display anger towards God, there’s a calm trust in Him and a desire to find purpose in it.

One of the best examples in Scripture is the life of Joseph in the Old Testament. Now, here is a guy, his brothers beat him up, throw him into a ravine, then this caravan comes along, they take him out and they sell him as a slave thinking we’ll never see him again. He goes, and he works in Egypt for a guy by the name of Potiphar.

And he does a great job and as a slave to Potiphar. And then Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce him, and he resists. And she’s so, I think, humiliated, she claims he tried to rape her, and he gets thrown into jail for doing what’s right and spends several years in prison until, because of his ability to interpret dreams, because the Pharaoh’s having these troubling dreams, he goes and he is elevated to the number two position in all of Egypt. And for seven years they prepare for this famine that’s coming. And because they have seven years of plenty and he’s in charge of it, and then the famine comes, and then his brothers come and he confronts them, and they are terrified. They can’t believe it. They realize he could probably have them put to death. And you remember what he says, Genesis 45. He says, don’t be upset with yourselves. I’m right where God wants me. God is using me to keep people alive. Then in chapter 50, he says, you meant it for evil, but God is using it for good. I’m right where God wants me. You see, a very wise man and wise, as he looks back at his suffering.

In fact, in Psalm 105, the psalmist talks about Joseph. In Psalm 105:16, he says, he called for a famine upon the land. He broke the whole staff of bread. He sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. They afflicted his feet with fetters. He himself was laid in irons until the time that his word came to pass. The word of the Lord tested him, refined him. The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples, and set him free. He made him Lord of his house and ruler of his possessions. And then he goes, and this is critical. In verse 22, it says, God will imprison his princes at will, that He might teach his elders wisdom.

From Joseph’s life, during the storms of life, he didn’t waiver, his faith didn’t waiver, he stayed on the path, and he grew in wisdom that would not have been possible otherwise.

One final daily practice that we should all apply. It’s not difficult to apply. But listen to this verse in Jeremiah 33:3. If you don’t know this verse, you need to familiarize yourself with it. It’s a great verse. It says, call to me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.

And of course, you may be familiar with James 1:5. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously without reproach. Proverbs 2:3 says, the part of acquiring wisdom says, call out to God for insight and cry aloud for understanding. In Psalm 119 verses 125 (Psalm 119:125, 169) and verse 169, the psalmist prays for understanding. Asks God to give him understanding. It’s two important things to know, guys, as we ask for wisdom. In one sense, it’s an acknowledgement that we lack wisdom and that we are needy people. And that’s important. But second, and scripture seems to point this out in many cases, God is waiting for us to initiate before He responds to us. James 4:8, draw near to God and He will draw near to you, seek, and you will find. If you seek God, he says, you will find Me. I’m here to be found.

But then go back to Jeremiah 33:3, Call to me and I’ll answer you and I’ll tell you great and mighty things which you don’t know.

And guys, this isn’t a prayer that you do a couple times this week and next week and think, ah, we’ll be wise. This is something we should seriously pray about on a daily basis. You know, pray for wisdom on how to love your wife. Pray for wisdom in raising your children. There’s a tremendous amount of instruction about praying for wisdom in your work life. In fact, if you’re not familiar with this, you might want to write this down and go to Isaiah 28 when you have time and look at verses 23 to 29 (Isaiah 28:23-29). This is how God teaches a farmer in properly conducting his business. And in verse 29, God promises to make His counsel and wisdom available to us in our work lives, in our careers, so that this is a daily practice that we could easily put in into place.

Now guys, we’ve been talking about the importance of walking down a path, plodding away daily, that certain daily practices perform day in and day out will lead to wisdom. But the question is, and this is where it all begins. The question is, do you know how to get there from here?

You know, how do you get the life you really want from the life you’re presently leading? And the best way, I believe, is to apply this principle. And the principle is small changes can make a big difference over the course of your life. You hear that? Small changes can make a big difference if they become daily practices and are practiced over the course of your life.

And this comes from a guy by the name of Jerry Foster, and he calls it the vector principle. Now, I don’t know if you know what a vector is. It’s a term in mathematics and physics that quantifies the speed and direction of an object. And if you were a pilot of a jetliner, you use vectors to define the course of your destination. He says, “Obviously, even the smallest vector change in the cockpit can make a big difference in the plane’s ultimate destination. Though it may seem an imperceptible change, every mile traveled you are farther from your previous course. For example, you could make a tiny vector change while flying between New York and Seattle and end up in Los Angeles instead. Most flights are achieved through a series of rather small vectors, minor turns and course adjustments that allows the cockpit crew to fly the plane from point A to point B. Quite simple, the vector principle applies to our lives in the same manner. Even if you never fly an airplane, you are vectoring through life by the choices you make. You are currently on a course that was determined by choices you’ve made since you were aware of your capacity to choose. Many of these choices seemed rather insignificant at the time, but small changes make a big difference over time.”

You know, I believe every man in this room desires to be wise, but this will never become a reality until you change something you do daily and then this daily practice has to become a permanent part of your life.

One of my favorite principles is, I’m going to close with just a couple of simple illustrations, and we’ll be finished, but this is one of my favorites. It’s called “The Daffodil Principle”.

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, “Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over.” I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. “I will come next Tuesday,” I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, “Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!” My daughter smiled calmly and said, “We drive in this all the time, Mother.”

“Well, you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m heading home!” I assured her.

“I was hoping you’d take me to the garage to pick up my car.”

“How far will we have to drive?”

“Just a few blocks,” Carolyn said. “I’ll drive. I’m used to this.”

After several minutes, I had to ask, “Where are we going? This isn’t the way to the garage!”

“We’re going to my garage the long way,” Carolyn smiled, “by way of the daffodils.”

“Carolyn,” I said sternly, “please turn around.”

“It’s all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.”

After about 20 minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign with an arrow that read, Daffodil Garden. We got out of the car and each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns– great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.

There were five acres of flowers. “But who has done it?” I asked Carolyn. “It’s just one woman,” Carolyn answered. “She lives on the property. That’s her home.” Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster. “Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking,” was the headline on the sign.

The first answer was a simple one: 50,000 bulbs, it read. The second answer was “One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, very little brain.” The third answer was “Began in 1958.”

There it was, The Daffodil Principle. For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than 40 years before, had begun–one bulb at a time –to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something indescribable: magnificence, beauty and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time–often just one baby-step at time–and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we, too, will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

“It makes me sad in a way,” I admitted to Carolyn. “What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal 35 or 40 years ago and had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!”

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. “Start tomorrow,” she said.

It’s so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, “How can I put this to use today?”

You see, what this principle is saying is when we add certain daily practices to our lives and allow for the accumulation of time, what will happen, guys, at the end of our lives, we will be able to present to God a heart of wisdom and a life that was well lived.

I close with the simple words of Robert Frost. These words have had a real impact on my life in making decisions for particularly over the past few years. And it’s a quote you’re probably familiar with, he says, “two roads diverged in the woods”. In other words, I’m going down a path and there’s a fork in the road. “Two roads diverged in the woods, and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference in my life.”

The path of wisdom is the path that very few men are willing to walk down, but it makes all the difference for those who do.

Let’s close in prayer.

Father, we thank You for the wisdom that You do dispense to us through Your word. We thank You that You are a God of light Who gives us light so that we can see. I pray, Lord, that we would take from this series the importance of establishing certain daily practices, those incremental small changes that we need to make as a permanent part of our lives. And I pray that we would put this to good use and that we would take a good hard look at our lives, and we ask You to help us discern the path that we do need to go down, that we might become wiser as time goes by. We’re grateful again for our time together and pray these things in Christ’s name. Amen.


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