With my cozy blanket pulled all around me, I snuggle down into my thrifted sofa and spend time soaking in my surroundings.
Reminders of real-life living touch every corner of our home.
Mismatched socks in a pile, leftover cold coffee waiting to be reheated for the third time, pen marks from my special needs nephew who christened the wall, our fireplace mantel adorned with cuts of fir from our woods, my second-hand piano waiting to be painted something bold and lastly, my eyes settle in on our broken double-paned window.
Tucked away in a back corner of our sitting room, that cracked window still holds a golf ball from years past.
I haven’t thought about that day in years, but I remember it well.
A typical afternoon, our three boys hooted and hollered in the side yard. As I peeked out the window, I saw them all swinging their golf clubs.
“Boys,” I yelled out the back door, “aim your clubs in the opposite direction or someone’s going to break a window.”
Two of the three yelled back in affirmation, while the eldest responded with all the gumption his ten-year-old wisdom could muster, “Mom, there’s no way I will hit the window. Absolutely no way! I know what I’m doing.”
We went back and forth about obedience and choices, but he was sincerely convinced, there was no pending problem.
As I reached the opposite side of the house, I heard it!
Literally minutes after our exchange, that professional golfer hit and shattered the very window of which I had warned.
A few choice words flew from my mouth and I ordered him inside immediately. Livid doesn’t describe my frustration.
“All I asked you to do was point your club in the opposite direction. How difficult is that for you? It’s not. It’s simple.”
“Mom, really, I am sorry. I was so sure that I wouldn’t hit it.”
Years later, that golf ball stills serves as a reminder, a marker of sorts.
2014 is the year to finally replace that hidden window, but as I ponder the life lessons that visual represents, it’s many.
My son didn’t set out to crack this window.
His heart attitude wasn’t, “I will purposely disobey my mother because I want to do wrong,” but rather, it stemmed from a scripture of old, “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25.)
He acted on his own authority and in the belief that he knew better. Ultimately, his wisdom and knowledge failed him.
As a mother of five, I’m continually discussing Proverbs 3:7 with our children. “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” (NIV)
Yet the more I quote it for them, the Lord opens my eyes to how much it’s meant for me (and maybe for you?).
Over the last few years, I’ve been fortunate to surround myself with wise, Godly women who continually cause me to think.
Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
While I firmly believe that, I’ve recently seen a subtle shift in some of the views that they’ve shared, and it’s been challenging to step outside their strong collective thinking. Their wisdom, which once stemmed solely from scripture, is now a mixture of choice scriptures and personal feelings that don’t necessarily align with scripture. Their counsel is increasingly given without wanting to offend, but therefore it never quite confronts sin.
Every where I turn, society is challenging believers to look more like the world.
Christians pulling away from the theology that scripture is the inerrant (without error) Word of God, and philosophies assuring us that truth changes. “It’s relative, and of course, a good God wants us all to be happy.”
I look at the golf ball stuck in the shattered glass, cobwebs dusting the edging and am smacked with the reminder, “Wise in my own eyes. Wise in my own eyes.”
Oh, Lord! Are we becoming a generation that is so wise in our own eyes; a society resting on political correctness that we are missing out on your Glory? Do we feel the need to “dress up” the Gospel with our own slant so that it’s more appealing?
I love finding Christ smack dab in the middle of my mess. He is well-acquainted with grief; a man of sorrow, a savior full of compassion. Joy is often found in the midst of heartbreak and sorrow, but this promise of happiness and good fortune that I keep hearing about, I have yet to find in scripture.
As I sit, listen and read, I think back to that day with my son.
He was so sure he was doing the right thing. He earnestly believed what he said to be true, and therein lies the problem. Feelings fail us. Opinions, whether based on spiritual, social, or even political issues, must be vetted through scripture.
As the new year ushers in, I pray that my feelings and opinions never get in the way of His truth.
As the Lord continues to mold me, may I grow in righteousness as my own sin is revealed. I pray my tongue utters wisdom and my mouth speaks boldly what is just without compromise.
Since our golf ball serves as my object of remembrance, maybe we can each pick our own marker for the new year; a tangible object to remind us that true wisdom is found at the foot of the cross. A mark of remembrance to be bold in His truth, compassionate with His love and humbled by His wisdom.
Q4U: Have you ever kept a tangible object as a reminder of an important life lesson or situation? Would you care to share? Is there an area that you’ve been convicted of to speak up boldly for Him?