Manage episode 282523419 series 1627150
PDF Sermon Manuscript: Proverbs - Everyday Wisdom - Listening
Sometimes we don’t realize that we’ve ignored the voice of wisdom until a storm hits. When I was in seminary studying for my master’s degree, I served on staff at a new church in downtown Lowell, Massachusetts. One winter evening we had a worship gathering. I had heard that there was going to be snowstorm coming through around the time our service would start. I didn’t think much of it. Now, mind you, I lived on the North Shore of Boston at the time, on the seminary campus. It was a good 45–50-minute drive from where this church was. When everything ended, I looked out the window and could see the snow beginning to pile up. A few people mentioned to me that perhaps driving back to the school wasn’t a good idea. The senior pastor offered for me to stay at his place. But, when you’re 23 years old, you do in fact “know everything.” I assured everyone that I would be fine.
As I made my way out of the city, the snow began to fall faster and heavier. I thought about turning back, but I pressed on anyway. As I got on the highway, things went from bad to worse. I found myself in a complete whiteout. I couldn’t see more than several feet in front of my car. My knuckles were turning white as I gripped the steering wheel with intensity. And at some point, I realized that I found myself in a storm because I had ignored the voice of wisdom. I’m still not sure how I made it home that day, but I learned a lesson.
Some lessons come at a greater cost, don’t they? At my previous church, I had a man come to me whose marriage of 16 years had crumbled. To his amazement, his wife was demanding a divorce, and suddenly his entire world began cave in on him. He was desperate to stop her from leaving him. But as we began to talk, it became clear that he had been ignoring the voice of wisdom for many years.
He had a successful career as an engineer with an oil company. He volunteered for assignments that took him all over the world—often for months at a time. His wife had pleaded for him not to. He worked overtime any chance he had. His wife begged him to be home more with her and the kids. He often missed holidays to make more money, despite promises he wouldn’t.
That man had been involved in a Bible-teaching church. In fact, his father was a pastor. Many times he had heard God offering his wisdom. But when he faced the choice of turning to God’s wisdom or away from it, he refused wisdom. Wisdom was right in front of him, demanding that he change his ways. But he walked away from it. As a result, he was never able to reconcile with his wife. It was too late.
I want you to feel the urgency that emerges from the last section of Proverbs 1. It is a passage full of warnings to pay attention to wisdom, because otherwise it’ll be too late.