“My son, keep your father’s command,
And do not forsake the law of your mother.
Bind them continually upon your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
When you roam, they will lead you;
When you sleep, they will keep you;
And when you awake, they will speak with you.”
- Proverbs 6: 20-22 (New King James Version)
Oh my goodness, there were days when the wisdom of my parents was far, far away from me. These were times when their Christian instruction nagged at me from afar... Not quite silent, but stifled enough to be ignored. I was bold, self-confident and arrogant.
I had many victories in those times. Then a series of failures occurred. In the crush, I was traumatized by guilt over my folly. God's wisdom, echoing in the memories of parents' voices, seemed like a stone tied around my neck. "I should have" was carved on it.
I dragged that boulder along as I roamed. Sleeping with it was difficult; it rolled into my head with nightmares about what I had done wrong and how hopeless my situation had become. The morning light brought little relief because the choking rope was knotted tight. It was so thick I could not cut the stone away.
I cried out to God to save me. Exhausted, I dropped onto my couch and tugged on the rope, pulling the stone closer. I picked it up and its hard surface gave way to the treasure inside: pages and pages of wisdom, written in love.
A nagging voice said, "Reading that will only remind you that you are a failure."
"Get behind me, Satan!" I shouted, surprised at my intensity.
I dove into the pages, morning after morning, gratefully aware that the rope had kept this close to me all along. The words began to lead me on a new journey. I found love, joy, peace, encouragement and sound advice. I came to understand that it was a pleasure to keep connected to this wisdom.
Wondrously, what had been a burning collar was now a delicate necklace. The weight dangling from it was a cross.
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