The outdoor temperatures are still peaking in the mid-eighties, but the increased traffic, patches of turning leaves, and the thinning school supply sections at Target all announce that the time has come for school bells to ring in Colorado. Today’s Facebook newsfeed is filled with First Day of School pictures as friends send their little ones off to begin a new year. A strong sense of nostalgia rushes over me as I remember the excitement of selecting an outfit that would coordinate well with my new backpack – a backpack filled to the brim with Lisa Frank folders and a box of freshly sharpened pencils. Today, a part of me would love to travel back to the days when choosing black versus pink saddle shoes seemed to be the weightiest decision of the day. As the years pass by, decisions about shoes fade to decisions about which career to pursue and how to plan for retirement. The day-to-day choices of what to eat and what to wear become routine under the weight of managing finances and rearing children.
I cannot speak for you, but this last month the Jarrett home has been jam-packed. With a few last workouts before this year’s triathlon, scraping to find time to study for last week’s SHELF exam, family birthdays, two weddings, the demise of one of our vehicles, and major decision making as our lease term is coming to an end, it was a month filled with both excitement and stress. Looking ahead to what the next few years may hold for us seem like more than I feel equipped to manage when compared to what we experienced in the last four weeks.
A few weeks ago, my attention was directed to a verse in Proverbs that simply states:
“The prudent understand where they are going,
but fools deceive themselves.” (Proverbs 14:8, NLT)
While the meaning of this bit of wisdom draws no connection to the message of the song, I suddenly imagined Steven Tyler belting out the lyrics “Walk this way!” as I contemplated what it means to be prudent. I want to walk the path of wisdom and not be misled by trusting my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). I may not always choose perfectly, or be armed with enough information to rest in my own knowledge, but I hope that my choices reflect sound judgment, diligent research, a careful handling of the Word, and every ounce of faith I posses.
In my youth, the importance of wisdom in decision making was woven through the fabric of my parents’ guidance. Today, I want to let that fabric fall between my fingers as I hold it outstretched before the Lord – praying that He would increase my understanding so that one day I would wear a garment of wisdom that would be with me in all things. I want my decisions to move from which outfit would serve me best on the first day of school, to which roads to travel. I want to take each step with drapes of wisdom hanging over my shoulders, outweighing any anxiety that life may bring.