A while back, a horrible hailstorm ripped through the farming community near my house. My mother and I decided to drive around the county and evaluate the damage. I hadn’t slept well the night before, and I was VERY tired that morning. Feeling lazy, I simply ran a brush through my hair and pulled it into a messy ponytail. As far as my clothing, I went for comfort rather than style. I put on a horrid pair of old, brown sweatpants that had definitely seen better days. My top was too large, and its gaudy green stripes clashed with the pants. I looked like a circus clown.
You know me by now, and you know that I’m not always the brightest crayon in the box. My reply is proof positive of that fact. Through bitter experience, I have learned that my mother is the wisest woman alive and her advice should never be spurned—I just tend to forget it from time to time. And when I do, I ALWAYS regret it.
You can probably guess what happened. We were in a small town getting ready to get on the highway when our car died. No matter what we tried, the engine wouldn’t start. After my initial shock faded, chagrin came. Looking down at what I was wearing, I knew humiliation was just around the corner…and I was right. For several hours, I was on full display by a busy highway in my hideous sweatpants and my horrid, green shirt. I hate looking silly, and what I was wearing went beyond silly and into the realm of ridiculous. I looked like a bag lady.
When I was finally home again, I thought about the day and realized I’d gone wrong in two ways: I hadn’t been prepared, and I hadn’t listened to wise advice.
There have been times in my spiritual life when the same has been true. I know that praying and reading the Bible prepares me for problems I may encounter, but there have been times when I’ve felt too lazy to have daily devotions. Those times have inevitably led to trouble. It’s much easier to resist temptation, let go of offence, or fend off fear, if I have weeks of contact with God underneath my belt. I’ve also learned that it’s important to listen to trusted, spiritual advice. When I left my house in my ugly pants and hideous top, I had no idea that I was about to be on display by the highway. Life is unpredictable, and we never know what’s around the corner. That’s why it’s important to be prepared and listen to advice—especially when the advice comes from a wise woman like my mother.
“A fool thinks he needs no advice, but a wise man listens to others.” Proverbs 12:15