Daily D – Proverbs 17:24
Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth. PROVERBS 17:24 (NLT)
The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard; fools look for it everywhere but right here. (MSG)
Wisdom is the focus of the perceptive, but a fool’s eyes roam to the ends of the earth. (CSB)
We see what we focus on. We see what we are looking for rather than what is right in front of us. A buddy of mine was in a meeting last month. He collected information for a coworker who would participate in future meetings of the same team. However, when my buddy searched for those papers, he could not find them anywhere. Until yesterday morning, that is.
There sitting on his desk was a binder with the papers he had been searching for. It’s always the last place you look. I cannot tell you how many times I have done something similar.
The Message paraphrase of this proverb says, “The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard.” Turn to Prov. 6:6-11 and you will see what this means. The ants crawling around in your grass provide powerful lessons. I dare say no Ivy League school can improve on those observations.
You can learn a lot by paying attention.
- How can you learn people’s names? Pay attention when they tell you who they are.
- How can you learn something new every day? Read broadly, but not so deeply that you develop tunnel vision.
- How can you master a new subject? Learn, review, and teach someone else what you are learning.
Attention is a gift, like self-discipline, we give ourselves. How many times have you walked away from meeting someone new and thought, “What was his name?”
How many times have you remembered how you read something one time about a particular topic, but it now eludes your grasp?
How many times have you attempted to master a new subject but gave up because there were too many details to hold in your mind at the same time?
Attention is a refusal to allow distractions to disorient us.
One of the finest gifts you can give someone is full, focused attention. When I speak somewhere or lead training events, there are always people before and afterward who want to talk. I like talking. I like making new friends and deepening existing relationships. However, when I am talking to one person, I give him or her full, focused attention even when someone else tries to interrupt.
People tend to save the most important thing they will say until the last thing they say. If I open myself to interruption halfway into a conversation, I may as well have not listened at all.
Perceptive people find wisdom everywhere because they are looking for it and recognize it when they see it. They do not need to waste time, money, and energy on a world cruise to “find themselves.”
Where will you discover wisdom today? Look first wherever you are. Then you will not waste time searching for what is right on the corner of your desk.
I will seek wisdom wherever I am.
Our Father, you instruct us to ask for wisdom. You promise you will give it to us abundantly. You do not look down on us for our lack. Instead, you joyfully increase what we have and provide all we need. How good you are! Give us wisdom for this day and all that is before us. Amen.
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Leviticus 19:32-34 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord. “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Luke 6:27-31 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”