Buckley and I enjoy terrain hiking in a tiny semi-secluded patch of the planet belonging to the college where my husband works. It’s private land, so I’m thinking the town’s leash laws are not in effect. It’s also one of the few places I can let him range, and he loves it!
So do I. Not only for myself, but I get such a kick out of watching him enjoy the freedom, and I marvel at the sure-footedness of this rescue pound-puppy of ours. Not that I can say that about myself, mind you. No, this one carries a walking stick, wears special insoles in trail running shoes (in which I walk, not run), and even then I have to pick carefully through leaves and creek beds, using that opposable thumb to grab and hoist myself up the hills.
Buckley, the barefoot creature without the opposable thumb? Right. He leaves me in the dust.
I have to be especially attentive when crossing a brook. Picking my way safely can be challenging (it’s part of the fun), and watching for slippery moss on the rocks is imperative. If I’m not careful, I’m all wet.
Hold that thought for a sec.
Proverbs chapter ten is largely concerned with my words, which is a pretty good indicator of what’s in my heart. Here is a running commentary contrasting the attitude (as shown by their words) of the wise person versus the fool. Just a sampling—
The wise are glad to be instructed,
but babbling fools fall flat on their faces…
People with integrity walk safely,…
This isn’t just an observation, (Solomon was quite good at that), but more importantly, a warning. It’s easy to be drawn into a foolish argument; that is, an argument that is void of the primary foundation of wisdom—
“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.
Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.”
Without this, the encounter can become slippery at best, treacherous at worst, causing confusion, rancor, and division (to name a few.)
Here’s another comparison—
The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain;
…but the babbling of a fool invites disaster.
Are my words giving life? Or are my words making safe passage unattainable?
Or is it a discussion I should even enter into at this place?
When one of these conversations presents itself, the godly participant does well to stand on the shore and survey how to get across safely to the other side.
Otherwise, you’re all wet.
Proverbs 10:8,9,11,14; 9:10 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.