Have you ever just looked at stuff? It’s amazing what you notice when you do. I wonder sometimes if entertainment is the enemy of wisdom. Wisdom that uses creation as it’s classroom.
Approaching the end of my journey through Proverbs, I came across this:
Proverbs 30:25-28 25 Ants are creatures of little strength,yet they store up their food in the summer;26 hyraxes (rabbits/coneys) are creatures of little power,yet they make their home in the crags;27 locusts have no king,yet they advance together in ranks; 28 a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces.
As I reflected on this I tried to think of what they had in common, or if there was any pattern. I thought I’d share what I got.
I realised that all four of these creatures don’t need to be told what to do. They just do it. There’s a wisdom in nature how creatures just seem to always get with the program and even adapt to a new one when human interference disrupts their habitat.
They provide four examples of diligence in varying contexts.
The ant diligently works to make sure there is provision for leaner seasons. The rabbit, possibly one of the most vulnerable creatures listed, makes sure that it’s home is fortified by rocks. Locusts simply manage to ‘get it done’ cooperating and moving as one without having someone bark orders to them. And whether you translate the last one as Spider or Lizard, (the Hebrew is unclear) the point is, that they make themselves useful by getting rid of pests and are therefore allowed to co-exist with kings.
Basically, prudence in these four areas: Provision, Accommodation, Teamwork and Vocation.
It also strikes me that this is the way Jesus often taught, highlighting examples in the natural world to reveal spiritual truths underneath them. Probably the most well known example teaching on how God makes sure the sparrows of the field are fed and the flowers are clothed.
If this is indeed how Jesus used practical examples, then maybe we can apply these to the life of faith. When we do so, I find that some really good questions are revealed in regards to tracking our spiritual journey.
- Am I in the practice of ‘storing up spiritual food for the winter,’ making the most of times of Spiritual fullness to prepare for times of dryness?
- Am I growing in my awareness of my spiritual vulnerability and therefore need, to shelter always in the shadow of THE rock, Jesus Christ?
- Am I glad to cooperate with my fellow disciples to get things done without needing round the clock supervision from someone or causing dissent?
- Am I pursuing vocation and being useful in the King’s service? Even if it is to merely ‘kill flies’?
Perhaps entertainment is the enemy of observation. When we slow down and simply take a look at the world around us, we grant God the space to teach us lessons that if applied will bless us with an even closer walk with him.
I find these four questions to cover just about every area that I can control in my walk with God and my effectiveness as his disciple.
So let’s keep our eyes open and be willing to engage in some Spirit science.