Henri Nouwen said…

We have very little control over what happens in our lives, but we have a lot of control over how we integrate and remember what happens. It is precisely these spiritual choices that determine whether we live our lives with dignity.

Proverbs 2:6-9: For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose way of life is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path.

We see stop signs and yield signs every day. We must keep our eyes open in order to drive safely. The different paths we take in life are of course full of smaller side lanes - temptations, obstacles and wrong paths. Jesus said that it is inevitable that these things come our way (Luke 17:1). Sometimes it is easy to see these temptations, but sometimes not. The turnoff is sometimes so close to the right road that we do not see the difference.

Wrong choices are human. We know how much grief it brings. It is like a pebble thrown into the water. A small pebble causes many ripples. The Bible is full of people who took the wrong road. David and Peter are two examples from the Old and New Testament. Their faith derailed for a time. This could have been avoided if they listened and their self-interests did not take the central place in their lives. Yet, we know that both were restored. They saw and confessed the pain caused by their sin.

The poet is sure that a choice for wisdom can prevent disasters. However, wisdom is not just to prevent something. Wisdom is also a source of blessings. Wisdom allows you see what it is to know God and to obey Him (2:5). You begin to relax, for God's protective hand is over your life (2:8). It fosters positive values f fairness, discretion and integrity in your life (2:8-11). When immoral attacks try to derail our life, God’s wisdom enables us to withstand these attacks and stay on track (2:16).

The Lord is the source of this wisdom. We do not receive it by an attitude of ‘this you should not touch’ or ‘that you should not do.’ Wisdom is a gift for those who want to listen to the Lord. Paul reminds us that the greatest wisdom is to accept the wisdom of God, Jesus Christ, our righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Cor 1:30). We fall and sometimes stumble, but if we stick with Jesus, we have the assurance that our sins are forgiven.

Wisdom of God, Jesus Christ, thank you for saving me so that I can walk the right path of wisdom, by the power of your Spirit. Amen.