They said they would do it, the task well defined
But then they turned left, then right, then behind.
They scorned those in power subverting their will
When sudden calamity finished their thrills.
So don’t hitch your wagon with those who rebel
Unless you would like your pain to excel.
Proverbs 24:21,22—My son, fear the LORD, as well as the king, and don’t associate with rebels, for destruction from them will come suddenly; who knows what distress these two can bring?
We can learn a lot from a cat. We recently bought a puppy, a yellow Labrador we named Hero. As is often the case with puppies, he is a chewer—nothing is safe from his razor-like teeth—except for Misty, our cat. Every time Hero tries to chew on Misty he takes one-two combinations to the head from a not-amused feline.
When we navigate with a compass if we don’t keep on line with the precise azimuth, we get off course. Just walking across uneven land, over hills and through brush will change our direction and can easily cause us to get lost. I remember as a child in Japan, descending from the top of Mt. Fuji with two other boys. We left the sure circular path to take a short cut. But coming down the steep slope, we walked at an angle and ended up far away from our intended destination, lost and separated from the rest of our group.
Stinking water is a sign of death. A putrid pond occurs because there is no intake of fresh water, no stream or bubbling spring that pours in to replenish and invigorate. Soon algae proliferate until the oxygen necessary to sustain life is slowly choked out and brown slime wins the day.
I’ve never had a ministry to the poor. Few of my friends are financially needy and those I work and live around are middle or upper-class families. While my finances have often been sparse, compared to most in the world I am incredibly well off. So, I wondered what it would be like to spend so many hours each week helping those at the center of ever-converging problems from which escape seems bleak and overwhelming.
My office is the scene of constant battle. On the front line of my desk, two forces are engaged—the Pile Army led by General Intentions versus the Orderly Army led by General Tidy. The Pile Army constantly bombs the white-painted plain where I work with papers, books, writing instruments, mail, business cards, pictures and occasionally food and drink. Tidy is outgunned, outmaneuvered and so seldom wins victories that his army is often prone to quit fighting. Bills, deadlines and voting ballots are sporadically missed—all casualties beneath the deadly aim of Intention’s battle captain—Procrastination. On occasion, when I take trips, my wife visits the frontlines and brilliantly supports the Orderly forces with such pragmatic movements that I can actually see my desktop when I return.
Proverbs 6:9-11--How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest, and your poverty will come like a robber, your need, like a bandit.
Julius Caesar led his army across a short river of north central Italy in 49 B.C. to launch a civil war. The name of the river was Rubicon a name now synonymous with irrevocable commitment. When Caesar and his men crossed the river, there was no turning back. They were determined to fight to death if that’s what it took.