The Urban Outdoorsman

The bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat is there by the total sum of his choices in life. Some would say he’s just down on his luck when actually luck had nothing to do with why he’s there. We like to blame anyone and everyone for our circumstances when we should be putting the blame on ourselves. It’s not what cards we are dealt in life but how we play them that counts. Even a bad hand played properly can be a winner.
A fellow recently asked me if he should sleep with his girlfriend or not. He had absolutely no concept of living righteously or of the holiness of God. Some inconsiderate Christian got a notch on his evangelical belt by getting him to accept Jesus, but forgot to tell him to repent. I assigned him to read a chapter of proverbs every day for the next month. Perhaps it can begin to pound some wisdom into his head.
It never ceases to amaze me how many stupid choices people make in life and then wonder why their lives are in such a mess. As though there wasn’t a connection between the two.
In my 1st retail experience I stocked the shelves with consignment items. I was told it wasn’t a very good idea, but I thought I was immune to bad things happening. My next mistake against all council of people older wiser than myself, was to take on a partner. One day he didn’t come in to work. I was never to see him again, along with most of the stock from my store. It took me about three years to repay the suppliers.
This served as a wake up call to me and I took to reading proverbs on a regular basis. I realized the need for wisdom in my life and for many years after, my constant prayer was “Lord grant me wisdom.” I felt like a kid pestering his dad for what he wanted til he was eventually worn down and gave it to him. I didn’t have a mentor at the time but I certainly could have avoided many pitfalls with one. I became deliberate and purposeful about honing my skills as a businessman, knowing that this was God’s calling on my life and that I would need a lot of wisdom to excel at it.
That was more than 40 years ago. I realize it was the grace of God that has kept me on course. In spite of myself, God has given me a measure of wisdom and spared me from making all kinds of bad and costly decisions.
Although wisdom is a gift of God, it doesn’t come cheaply. We must earnestly desire it and give priority to studying and petitioning God to obtain it.
Wisdom is my most valuable business asset, second only to my integrity. More on that in a later blog.

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