Proverbs

Spring is beautiful, but boy is it allergy season for me. The glands on my neck are swollen so big, it hurts to swallow! I’m dragging this morning physically, a reflection of the state of my heart today. Days like this come and go- days when we fight to see meaning, to find beauty, to see God. It is on days like this that groan loudest for heaven. Best to move slowly, but move nonetheless.

I have been reading Proverbs, a book filled with sentence long nuggets of wisdom. It’s a perfect pace for me right now. With other books of the Bible, snippets of verses are best understood within the context of several other verses, chapters, even books. Proverbs, on the other hand, welcomes me to take bite-sized pieces of truth and ruminate.

Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much increase come by the strength of the ox, reads Proverbs 14:4. This is where we are at- messy and imperfect. Lots of crap on the floor. Lots of time spent mucking stalls. A stench that lingers. But I would not have it any other way. Progress sweetens the air, and I’m invigorated by the sweat of a hard day’s work. I’m invigorated by the spiritual growth upon which we feast. Life would be neater, less offensive, controllable, if we resigned to “just pay the bills” as Steven and I have come to refer to a life of safe but stagnant progress. No, give me the oxen and all their mess. I want to reap a harvest. I want to feast on the increase.

Through presumption comes nothing but strife, but with those who receive counsel is wisdom, says Proverbs 13:10, a relational nugget of gold. Don’t presume the thoughts of another. Don’t foolishly believe you possess the gift of mindreading. I can think of several examples when I presumed to know the feelings of a friend, because I was sure I was right and did not need to seek any counsel, and ran into trouble because my presumptions were inaccurate. The most convincing examples, though, are when I find myself on the other side of a presumption- the one whose thoughts are being presumed. One of the simplest examples is that of my friend who would decide that I was probably too overwhelmed with my responsibilities to listen to her problems. She needed to vent, and never honored me with the chance to listen and help carry her burden. She assumed I would not be available. On the other side, I wondered why my friend was so distant, and craved transparent conversation with her. When the air was cleared, our time together was sweet. Oh, if she had just asked me in the first place!

In all labor, there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty, says Proverbs 14:23. My body is lagging today, but all in all work, there is profit. Even if my work is slow and hindered today, a little is enough. A good way to end the blog. Back to work.

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