Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Dream Fulfilled is a Tree of Life

Today's Reading:
  • Proverbs 13:12-19
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Proverbs 13:12 - 19
Today's reading is a series of verses from one of my favorite books - Proverbs. I love Proverbs because it gives us clear directions on how to go through life. Not just go through life - but to soar through life, how to succeed in what you do, how to have happiness, and how to obtain wisdom.

There were a few reoccurring themes throughout today's reading. I found verses 12 and 19 to fit together:
13:12: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
13:19 It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them. 
 I do agree that never seeing one's hopes and dreams fulfilled can be quite crushing on one's spirit. I am caught on the words: "a dream fulfilled is a tree of life". This phrase makes me picture my life as a tree, soaring up into the sky. My dreams are branches, some developed and blossoming and full; others budding and taking shape; some withering and dying. Is your entire tree withered up? That would certainly make one's heart sick. My tree is pretty full and happy. But should something happen to my tree, crushing as it would be, my hope is in the Lord. I know that he can take a tree that has withered and passed away and revive it into the most glorious tree ever seen. Nurture your spirit with the words of the Lord. Turn away from the evil ways of this world. Let his essence feed your tree of life, and see your tree reach it's full, beautiful potential.

Verses 13 through 18 are about one of my favorite topics: Wisdom. Here is a summary from these verses.

To obtain wisdom:
  • Respect commands for a successful life
  • Listening to wise instruction is like a life-giving fountain that helps one avoid the snares of death
  • People with good sense are respected
  • The wise think before they act
  • Accept correction and be honored
The unwise:
  • Those who despise advice ask for trouble
  • Treacherous people head to destruction
  • Don't think before they act, and often brag about their foolishness 
  • Ignoring criticism lands one in poverty and disgrace
Every time I read Proverbs, especially when Wisdom is being discussed, images of the world as I know it today floats through my mind. People, places, current events, pass situations. These images, these thoughts, they affirm everything I read. Just look at those lists. I'm sure you can easily place people you know into both of those extremes. I want my life to look like that first grouping. I want to have a successful life where I am respected and honored. Eventually I want to be the wise one who is helping to fill the fountains of others. I've got a long way to go, but I've got the best helper in the entire universe to help me - the Word of God.