February 24, 2010
"Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life." Ecclesiastes 7:12 (NLT)
The Vancouver Olympics have me glued to my TV. Figure skating, downhill skiing, snowboarding, even curling - I'll watch most any Olympic sport. I relish the competition, the teamwork, the medal ceremonies, and especially the stories of athletes overcoming odds to perform well.
In fact, it reminds me a little of my husband Rick.
My husband grew up with a single mother, and very little money. In high school, Rick wanted to try out for track and field - he dreamed of running fast and long, and throwing a javelin. The problem was he didn't have the right shoes, and couldn't afford them. Thank God for good friends and a kind coach.
One of Rick's close friends invited Rick over to his house one day and said, "Try these running shoes on. They just don't fit my feet right and I'll never wear them." Rick wasn't sure if J.T. was telling the truth, but the shoes fit Rick fine. Those shoes helped him qualify for the state meet in the 800 meter race.
Running shoes allowed Rick to run much faster than his old sneakers would, but he would slip and slide in them while trying to throw the javelin. One day after practice, Rick's coach called him over and held up a big box of cleats. "Here's some unclaimed shoes students left in their lockers at the end of the school year. Find your size if you can." Rick found some that fit and the cleats made all the difference. Even the "crunching" sound they made on the track sent shivers of confidence and purpose up Rick's spine. Rick discovered it's much easier to strive for the goal when your footing is secure.
Many athletes dream of standing atop a podium during an awards ceremony with gold medals around their necks. For most, it takes talent, hard work, plus money to get there. But there is an ornament even more valuable than a gold medal. Proverbs 3:21-23 reveals:
"My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble."
Sound judgment and discernment are medals that become ours when we walk in wisdom. Money can take us places, for sure, but it can only take us so far. It provides but a measure of security. Wisdom is the footwear each of us needs to run the race God has set before us. Wisdom will help us make the important trek from this world into eternity.
When we walk in His wisdom - in God's cleats - He promises us solid footing. He does not promise a road that is always flat, or a route that is easy to run, but He promises us solid footing no matter the terrain. Wisdom - proper respect for the Lord and His ways - affords us ultimate security. Eternal security. Money can't do that.
Rick went on to compete successfully in high school, and on his college cross-country team. He also went on to gain godly wisdom. I'm so thankful for the friends and coaches that ensured Rick had what he needed to run his best.
God ensures - through the Bible, His followers, and His Spirit within us - that we each have what we need to run our best as well. He equips us to follow hard after Him. No money is necessary to be well-heeled in God's kingdom. Whether we're wearing nursing shoes, work boots, high heels, hand-me-downs, or flip-flops, we can walk securely by walking wisely.
Dear Lord, grant me wisdom and sure footing as I follow after You. I trust You to equip me with all I need. Whatever my path, I believe Your principals can keep me from slipping. You lead, I'll follow. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Visit Rachel at her blog today to chat about how God equips us with what we need.
All I Need is Jesus & a Good Pair of Jeans by Susanna Foth Aughtmon
Walk with Me Today, Lord: Inspiring Devotions for Women by Emilie Barnes
Consider what you usually walk in - fear? anger? depression? doubt? discontentment? a big hurry?
Who in your life can coach you in the ways of wisdom?
Who can help you "find your size" and follow after Him?
Proverbs 4:7, "Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment." (NLT)
Proverbs 2:6, "For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding." (NLT)
© 2010 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 24 February 2010.