Life has a funny way of providing opportunities to learn. I was on my way to the store early one morning, when I came across a road blockade due to line repairs being done along the roadway. My sweetheart got out the GPS to check for an alternate route to the store. The GPS unfortunately would not load properly due to cloud cover. Rather than waiting for him to find an alternate route, I headed for one that I knew of a few miles away. While we did eventually reach our destination it took allot more time. On the way home my sweetheart was able to find a much shorter and better route for us as he got the GPS to work.
As he gently reminded me, “Honey if you would have just waited a few more minutes I could have figured this out and saved us a lot of time and distance traveled.” In moments like this I ask myself, “Why is it is so much easier to “go my own way” and try to figure things out myself, than it is to be patient and let someone else help? “Going own way” is not always a good idea. Not only can it cause time and gas to be wasted as it was for me here, it can put us into dangerous situations as well. As King Solomon once wisely observed, “5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—“ Proverbs 1:5
I can think of many times in my life, when I wish I had listened to the council of others with more experience than myself. I think maybe it is a pride or ego thing that makes it easier to try to prove I can do it all myself. Like the good book says however “pride goes before a fall.” When it comes to major life decisions it is good the check the GPS, and ask for the council of others who you know and trust, as to what may be your best course of action may be. In considering the different advice you receive, you may find a better course of action for the problem at hand, then what you would have found alone.
“Two (or more) heads can be better than one” when it comes to solving some of life’s more difficult situations. Another example of this I would like to mention is the story of the truck being stuck under a bridge. Many men had been trying for hours to get it out. Then a child observing their predicament suggested letting some of the air out of the tires so they could get the truck out. Low and behold it worked, and they were able to move the truck out from under the bridge.
Don’t be afraid to listen to others for advice when needed. Also consider the idea that everything you know regarding the problem could be wrong. To solve some things you may need to rethink the situation entirely from a new point of view to find the answer. We are unable to change others, but we can change ourselves, and how we look at things. To do this takes much courage, and honest self-reflection. I must say from experience, that this is not an easy thing to do, but it is well worth it in the long run. I think that the most valuable lessons to be learned, or skills to be acquired can only be gained through much effort. To make quick decisions in any potentially dangerous or difficult situation takes fluid intelligence. If we are too rigid in our thinking we may miss the best solution entirely.
Surround yourself with wise counsel; be open to new ideas and ways of looking at things. Keep the wonder and innocence of a child, yet be ever-growing and learning the best skills you can for your life’s endeavors. If we stop growing and learning we become old and rigid, and miss out on many new and wonderful things.
In closing I invite you to consider the words of King Solomon found in Proverbs 2.
My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
He is a shield to those, whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.”
9 Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.”
I hope that God’s wisdom and understanding are your guides in the journeys of your life.