The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. Proverbs 13:4
We used to have a large, older-type swimming pool when we lived in Oklahoma City. Though it was not modern, it was a great size for lap swimming and we really enjoyed having people over to swim.
After dealing with lots of little girls’ curly hair and chlorine (and tears), I started doing some research on how we could keep up the pool without chemicals. We ran into a company that used salt to naturally maintain swimming pools.
Wow, we loved the salt treatment for the pool. It was like being transported to the ocean in our own backyard. But, here was the catch. We had to consistently keep a certain amount of salt going in the pool, or, you guessed it. Green pool. How do I know that? Well . . .
That one time we lapsed on the daily salt treatment taught us well. The salt had to continue to flow through the pump to stay on top of the entire volume of the pool. Just a little bit of slacking caused the whole thing to go south. It wasn’t impossible to get on top of it after that, but doubly hard for awhile until consistency gave the results we wanted again.
Our hearts are like that. Proverbs 4:23 says we must keep our heart with all diligence because the issues of life flow from it. We have to stay on top of our heart with the “salt” of the Word of God. It clears away the trash and keeps the fountain flowing. Literally and figuratively, maintaining our hearts with consistency leads to life, here and beyond.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7, KJV
Now that I live back in my hometown, the memories of my growing up years are nearer than ever. Almost daily I see or talk to someone who helped “raise” me in a wonderful small town community.
So, speaking of “small town,” my mom was my teacher the year I was in second grade. I wouldn’t call it my best year, though. And this is why. I got in a fight in the line for the water fountain. Yep, a girl-kind of hitting and slapping fight. The reason we disagreed escapes me right now, but suffice it to say, my teacher (mom!) landed both of our hineys in the hallway.
If you grew up in our school, you know what that meant . . .to land in the hallway was big, bad news. See, we had a principal named Miss McDonald. With her dress shoes and tall red beehive hairdo she was easily over six feet tall. And she didn’t play around. Not one little, tiny bit. This was the rule: If she saw a child in the hallway, that meant their teacher placed them there for bad behavior. And that meant one more thing. You were heading to Miss Mac’s office and meeting with the Board of Education. (If you know what I mean.)
That horrible day in second grade nearly gave me a heart attack, but I was very suddenly paying attention. And from that time on, I was “getting” wisdom as much as I possibly could. (Along with praying to God to save me and begging him to PLEASE not let Miss Mac walk down the hall!)
Wisdom is ready and waiting, but we have to do the “getting.” Miss Mac represented wisdom to me and so many others. She probably knew sometimes it takes desperate measures to push us into going after what we need. Obviously this verse could imply that a life-long process is required to eventually receive understanding. Even if it takes a few visits to “Miss Mac,” the wisdom we will gain will be worth it.
Keely Goldston, if you’re out there, I’m really sorry I hit you in the water line!