Proverbs 27:19 | Reflections

Proverbs 27:19 NLT
As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.

How do we know what we really look like?
Surprising truth: with these eyes we can’t see ourselves.
So what do we do?
We go in front of a mirror or still water and see our own reflection. Even images from a camera are just reflections that have been captured.
The light hits our face, reflects off a surface, and enters our eyes. Our mind interprets this information and we see ourselves – or at least, just a reflection of our physical appearance.
In the same way, how can we see and know our real selves?
Of course, the heart and the intent of the heart are shown in the paths that we take (our actions). As Jesus said, “a tree is known by its fruit”. (Luke 6:43-45)
But sometimes, it isn’t so clear, especially when we aren’t even aware of the paths we are taking or the fruit is not visible to us.
How does this happen?
We get caught up in the chaos of life – the waves and ripples of its ever-changing circumstances. We lose our true reflection.
Doubt seeps it, bringing anxieties and worries with it. The waves and the ripples seem to grow as we focus on them.

We forget God’s promises and lose faith. We stop asking for and seeking God’s wisdom. We become like one who tossed around in the sea. (James 1:5-8)
Who are we? Where are we going? What about them, who are they? What is the purpose of all of this anyway? Is it all just a waste of time and energy?
We look for a source of clarity in the midst of this noise and change. Most look for it in the wrong places (this is the wide and well traveled path). They look for it in man-made identities, social media, news, politics and many other things. They also seek it in activities, crowding their lives and schedules.
Then, the noise becomes too much. Some seek to drown out the noise with more noise, external pleasures, drugs and any kind of escape, achievements and ego, food and drink; the list is endless, as our desire for clarity and stillness is also endless. These things might drown out the noise, temporarily, but they cloud our vision.
Is there any hope for us?
Yes, there is. It begins with the stillness found in our relationship with God through Jesus.
God is the only constant, the source of stillness and wisdom that we seek to give us clear vision.
We can experience this stillness and rest in it at every moment along our journey.
We can see our reflection, the true state of our heart, as well as the evidence of it and our daily lives – and in the lives of others (the fruit that Jesus talks about).
Then, and only then, can we see ourselves clearly enough to remove anything obstructing our spiritual eyes and be at a place to serve others.
This is a journey that has to happen everyday, for we never reach a point where we don’t need clarity or light to guide our path.

We are always in need of God, the source of wisdom and stillness.
How does this happen?
How do we find this clarity everyday in our relationship with God?
It begins with prayer, which is conversation – asking.
It also involves listening, waiting and meditating – receiving.
With this clarity and light, we can walk the path securely every day and every moment.
We can see our reflection and recognize who we truly are and where we are going.
We can see the reflection of God’s love in ourselves, and in others.


Happy Easter

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words,
Luke 24:1‭-‬8 ESV

DTP 05: The Wise Detour | Proverbs 27:12

The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. – Proverbs 27:12 ESV

Even if you are following the best path, obstacles are inevitable and opportunities for growth. Sometimes the wise choice is to keep climbing and pushing forward. Sometimes hardships must be endured to fulfill a certain grand purpose or goal, or just to continue on the journey.
Jesus, for example, knew that he had to suffer for a great purpose, chosing to do so freely and out of love. This time of year (Holy Week) we are reminded of that.
This Proverb is reffering to something completely different – unnecessary hardship and danger that should be avoided.

The image above was taken while I was at Great Sand Dunes National Park on an afternoon in May. Dark clouds are looming on the horizon. Being well warned by signs and brochures about the volitile Spring weather, we decided to head back to the car (even though we wanted to explore the sand dunes). We made it just in time, when a violent storm came through with lightning, large hail and sand-blasting winds. It was a good decision in the end. However, many others kept going and experienced some discomfort.
Sometimes, there is real danger ahead – which is what this Proverb is reffering to. You realize this is not a path you should be on. Wisdom allows us to recognize this and take action to change paths immediately.
The Well Traveled Paths can be the most dangerous:
The well traveled paths are often filled with such dangers. Worse, they are usually hidden to us if we rely on our own understanding (and not the Wisdom of God – the same wisdom found in Proverbs). “The Detour” from this wide path of mediocrity, is the way of wisdom that leads to abundant living.
So.. Wisdom enables us to:
  • Recognize real dangers ahead (which are often hidden in the short term).
  • Make the nessesary change – take the Detour to a better path and avoid the danger.
Wisdom makes all the difference:
Even the most prudent or wise aren’t perfect, better or smarter than the simple in this Proverb. The difference is their reliance on wisdom to ponder their path and recognize the real dangers ahead. Then, they also take action (very important!) and make whatever change is needed – which could be anything from changing a habit, not agreeing to an unethical business deal, moving somewhere, taking a new job or career path, ending a toxic relationship or addiction, ect..
The Simple, rely only on their own understanding and assumptions – which could be from pride, arrogance, greed, prejudice, ect. As a result, they don’t use wisdom ponder where their steps are leading them. They keep going, blind to the dangers ahead, and eventually suffer for it.
Important note:
This is not to say that we should overthink things or become paranoid about hidden dangers – which is not wise. Rather, we should look beyond our own understanding and seek wisdom – which allows us to see our path as it actually is and take any needed detour. Start now.