The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Thoroughness
Taking Care of Business
Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations. When the hay is removed and new growth appears and the grass from the hills is gathered in, the lambs will provide you with clothing, and the goats with the price of a field. You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed you and your family and to nourish your servant girls.
Some things in life are so simple as to defy any attempt to make them complicated. This passage brings before us one of those self-evident truths. Take care of your business today and you will be in good shape tomorrow. Simple, easy to understand. Focus on the task at hand, do it to the best of your ability, and don’t worry about the future.
The reason is easy to understand. Since the future is always uncertain (“riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure”), the most you can do is to take care of business so you can tip the scales a bit in your favor. Even after you’ve done the best you can, some unexpected calamity may come, throwing your life into a tailspin. The best way to prepare for the unexpected is simply to be thorough in what you do today.
That leads to a profound insight: 99 percent of life is ordinary. It’s just the same old stuff day after day. You get up in the morning, take a shower, put your clothes on, eat breakfast, get the kids ready for school, go to work, hope the kids are OK, come back from work dead tired, read the paper, watch TV, try to be nice, eat supper, play with the kids, flop into bed dead tired, get up the next morning, and then do it all over again. That’s the way life is.
Where do you begin in discovering the will of God? You begin by doing what you already know to be the will of God in your present situation. So many of us live for those high, mountain-peak experiences, for those times when the clouds part and God seems so close to us. If you are a student, the will of God is to do your homework. If you a lawyer, the will of God is to study the law. If you are a banker, the will of God is take care of the money entrusted to you. If you are a teacher, the will of God is to be prepared every time you step into your classroom.
The will of God always begins with the ordinary, the mundane, the usual. But that’s a hard fact for a generation seeking something spectacular. Often when we say “God, show me Your will,” what we really mean is, “Lord, give me some feeling, some insight, some spiritual revelation.” And God says, “I have already shown you My will. Now just get up and do it!”
So many of us want to live only on the mountaintop. That’s not where you discover God’s will. You discover God’s will in the nitty-gritty of the valley every single day. The Bible says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Why should God show you His will for the future if you aren’t doing the will of God in the present?
Help me to be busy doing the work You have given me to do, O Lord. Save me from the folly of thinking that tomorrow is somehow more important than today. Amen.
How well have you been “taking care of business” lately?
Considering that “99 percent of life is ordinary,” what is the will of God for you today?
What have you been putting off that needs to be done before you go to bed tonight?
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