Presently I’m “walking through” the Book of Proverbs on my “trek” of reading through the Bible this year. Proverbs is NOT a book to skim or read lightly! 🙂  “Gotta stop and smell the roses,” (sometimes the “fragrance” isn’t that pleasant).   :-/
     I paused this morning at chapter 18 verse 4 as I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the abundant flow of words that flood our lives, even our minds!  I think about the thousands of words we hear and speak and write, let alone think, each day! It’s enough to make me want to plug my ears and cover my eyes and beg the world to stop spinning so I can get off! 🙂  

     Of course, a line from My Fair Lady has popped into my head, where Eliza says to Freddy, “Words! Words! I’m so sick of words! I get words all day through;” and then she sings, “Never do I ever want to hear another word. There isn’t one I haven’t heard.”  Yes, at times I know just what she means!)  🙂
     Back to Proverb 18:4, which got me on this train of thought in the first place: “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” (ESV, 2000)
   How thankful I am that “in the beginning was the WORD,” (a.k.a. “Wisdom”) who was “with God and who IS God!” And He has come to dwell with us and make Himself known to us… with words! Yes, words. However, just as Eliza asked Freddy to get beyond words and “show her” rather than just tell her, [“Show me! Show me! . . .Don’t waste my time, Show me!”], God DID “show us” what He has told us in words: …”but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). 

Okay, time to stop and pray:
Lord, keep on speaking Your words of life to me! And “let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer” (Proverb 19:14).

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In keeping with the “walking” theme, I began thinking about what is involved with the learning process–or more specifically, the “failures” involved.

I love to repeatedly watch any video clips of my granddaughters in their early learning-to-walk ventures. There is the thrill of seeing them take that “first step,” the catch in my breath, as if watching them walk a tightrope, as they cautiously take one little step and another, leaning one way and then the other, looking like they will surely topple over at any moment. Then my cheering erupts as they achieve more than three successive steps.

So what is my reaction when they won’t even take one little step, or they try but their little feet fail to move them forward, they stumble or merely stop where they are and plop down?  Do I let out a disgusted “Boo!”? Do I shake my head in disappointment, thinking, “She’ll never learn!”? Do I scold or criticize?

Of course not! More than likely I am cheering them on and saying things like, “Aw, come on! You can do it! Try again! Don’t give up! Don’t stop now!”

I take into consideration their young age and the fact that they are at the very beginning stages of learning a brand new skill. I am proud of their determination and their unwillingness to quit trying even when they might stumble time and time again. (There is even laughter in my my cheering, not because of their “failure,” but because they are just so adorably cute!) I am one among that surrounding, great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) who has “been there, done that” and knows they too will succeed.

I wonder about the reaction of the great cloud of witnesses and my heavenly Father in my own venture of learning to “walk in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

But God corrects us all our days for our own benefit, to teach us his holiness. Now obviously no “chastening” seems pleasant at the time: it is in fact most unpleasant. Yet when it is all over we can see that is has quietly produced the fruit of real goodness in the characters of those who have accepted it in the right spirit. So take a fresh grip on life and brace your trembling limbs. Don’t wander away from the path but forge steadily onward. On the right path the limping foot recovers strength and does not collapse. (Hebrews 12:10-13, J.B. Phillips New Testament)

Two of my three granddaughters are now proficient at the art of walking! One of them is 4 years old and she has become quite “The Natural.” The other one is one year and 18 days old and she already is not settling for plain old step-by-step walking, oh no! She is “dancing.” My third granddaughter is a mere 9 weeks old, so she has some time to work on her walking skills. I love to think about each one of them coming to the point in their lives when they will decide to walk in step with the Savior and to follow hard after Him all the days of their lives! I think of a Rich Mullins song at this point:
“Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You’ll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days
{Repeat}
And step by step You’ll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days.”

Here is one of my favorite lines I like to quote:
Keep walking “with the King today, and be a blessing!”
It came from: Dr. Robert Andrew Cook, (June 7, 1912 – March 11, 1991). He was the president of The King’s College (New York) in Briarcliff Manor, and his most recognizable and famous line is from his radio broadcasts where he would close with:
“Walk with the King today, and be a blessing!”