Gerald was a native Floridian, a senior in our high school when I was a lowly sophomore. In our boarding school he was one of the most gifted athletes, especially in track. But he had never seen snow.
When he came to visit me during winter break, there were tons of the stuff in the Adirondacks so I took him over to Gore Mountain. “Gerald, we should start on the bunny slope and I’ll show you a couple of things about turning and stopping. This is not water skiing!” “Are you kidding? Take me to the top of this mountain.” We climbed in the chair lift and rode to end of the cable.
”Let me show you how to snow plow. At least you’ll have a way to slow down if you get in trouble.” He mocked my suggestions. As a senior, he wasn’t about to learn anything from a kid two years younger.
To be naïve about your ability on a steep ski slope can hurt. To mock an offer for free advice and to think you know how to teach yourself is just plain dumb. It’s one thing to practice this kind of stupidity at Gore Mountain, it’s another thing to think you know it all when Lady Wisdom is trying to teach. It is worse when you mock and detest what she is trying to pour into your life.
“How long will you naïve, inexperienced beginners love your naivety? How long will you mockers take pleasure in mocking and you moral dullards hate knowledge?” Proverbs 1:22
Gerald never would let me teach him. I went up and down the mountain about twenty times before he made it down once. A few times I stopped in the midst of my runs to check on him, but he continued to refuse any help. He looked like the Abominable Snowman when he finally arrived at the base, but by God’s grace he was all in one piece. Wisdom shares that those who mock her and refuse her teaching don’t get off so easily.
LORD, help me to keep listening to those who know more about the areas in life where I am inexperienced. Destroy the pride that blinds me when I don’t know what I’m doing, and keep me from covering up my lack of knowledge and skill with sarcastic mockery.
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