October 24 – Pass the Salt

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.

Pass the salt, please . . .

Jennifer 🙂

 

September 15 – A Line in the Sand. . . and Ten Steps Back

Let your way in life be far from her, and come not near the door of her house [avoid the very scenes of temptation], lest you give your honor to others and your years to those without mercy, lest strangers [and false teachings] take their fill of your strength and wealth and your labors go to the house of an alien [from God] Proverbs 5:8-10 AMP

“No” is naturally hard for me to form my mouth to say. And unfortunately, that one inability has cost me dearly over the years in time, talent and tenacity. For those who have a similar struggle, maybe you will agree that when you go along just because you don’t want to make anyone upset, you ultimately can become that way yourself!

Claudius (of course that’s not his real name!) was a childhood friend I met through some distant relatives. We were both about ten and full of gusto. I had rules to abide by and he didn’t. Granted, it gets hot in West Texas in the summer, but I would have never conjured up the notion to go swimming at the downtown Hilton! Claudius did. Here we were, two little “chocolate drops” in cut off jeans trying to slip past a Valet in the middle of the af-ternoon, unnoticed.

Thankfully, we got caught before we got in the hotel or I really, really would have been embarrassed. I was so mad, I could have punched him in the nose. But since he was obviously crazy, I just agitatedly grumbled, “I thought you did this all the time and we weren’t going to get in trouble?” His response made an indelible mark on me that would last a life time. “We didn’t get in trouble; we just need to go back when that guy isn’t there.”

For the wayward soul, right and wrong is relative. And often, they are so desensitized to the laws of cause and effect; they can’t even correlate them with the outcome.

That day I decided I wasn’t okay with being in trouble or being embarrassed, so I started paying attention to the buddies I was hanging out with. And if or when some crazy stuff started “cooking,” little Lorenzo got to “booking!” (i.e., I ran away really fast!)

For me, that’s what today’s Proverb is all about. Boundaries are a necessity and everybody needs some. But with them, it’s a good idea to know where they start and back up a good distance. That way, your name isn’t able to be associated with the drama.

If you’re not standing by the fence, you won’t be as tempted to open the gate!