Sometimes when I see one of those big flashing arrow signs on the highway pointing to a lane closure or a detour, I reflect on how we might wish that life came with flashing directional signals that we could not miss. I know I have needed such a thing more than once. But life does not, and so many people lose their way amid the maze of decisions, circumstances and pressures that face people every day. I remember when I first felt called to become a pastor, one who helps others along life’s road, one of the objectives in my mind was to be used of God in helping to teach people how to live wisely. I hoped to help folks learn to make wise choices. It’s a dangerous and slightly presumptuous undertaking because no matter how old or educated one is, one must undertake the task while very much a learner along the road.
The Good News is that one of the purposes of the Bible is to provide the principles to teach us how to live wisely. Consider, for example, the stated purpose from the prologue of the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament.
For gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
For receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
For giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
Let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance— Prov 1:2-5 NIV 2011
In addition, God’s Holy Spirit has promised to guide Christ-followers in their journey. So there is hope!
The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Prov 2:6 NIV 2011
Recently, this focus on helping others live wisely has been impressed upon me again. Accordingly, I have decided to change the title of my blog to: Learn to be Wise. I hope that the change will accomplish several purposes.
- It will help my blog focus more on wisdom for daily living. I want to write more in the wisdom category on my blog.
- It will enlarge the blog’s appeal beyond those who normally look at the writings of pastors. This is an important factor in New England where fewer people have a relationship to a church that in upstate New York.
- It aligns the title with the web address, an address chosen two years ago because we could not get one that looked like the old blog title. Could it be that God was already at work pointing in this direction? I think so.
Of course, there will still be some family posts; that keeps the blog personal. And there will still be some church-related posts; church gives me a great deal of context. But overall, I trust the percentage of posts will shift toward practical comments on daily life and reflections that help us find wisdom for our daily choices.