My son, let them not escape from your sight, but keep sound and godly Wisdom and discretion, And they will be life to your inner self, and a gracious ornament to your neck (your outer self). Then you will walk in your way securely and in confident trust, and you shall not dash your foot or stumble. When you lie down, you shall not be afraid; yes, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet. Proverbs 3:21-24
Well, since dashing my foot and stumbling is something I do a lot, I went to a bunch of sporting goods stores to ask for sound wisdom as to what shoes I should wear on my now biking the northern route of El Camino. And pretty much they all suggested the same thing, and they seemed to pass the googlesearch of What shoes should I wear on El Camino? so I now have a very cool pair of Keen sandals.
But I think that old wiseman Solomon has more in his heart as he counsels his beloved child than toe blisters. And what a lovely thing, in the Amplified translation, to have life in your inner self as well as a gracious and beautiful outer self.
And “discretion” is kind of a funny word that all of the translations use. Yet Merriam Webster’s, and all the rest of the dictionaries, has a sort of an odd dichotomy for this word, it means both to have rights, as in “individual choice and judgment,” and yet, using those rights carefully, with good judgment, especially in “cautious reserve in speech.”
And this is another way that I stumble, in what I say. Yep.
And just as it’s great to have good, sturdy, lightweight shoes for my journey, I am also going to use those walking pole things, because I have a very floppy ankle which sends me crashing to the ground when I least expect it.
Those poles slow the walker down a bit, requiring the time to plant them well, soundly, especially clambering over boulders or when the way is cobbled. And in my early-morning-head, I am going to consider those sticks to be wisdom, the wisdom from above that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
And my journey next month includes a few days on Francis’ road to Assisi…and thus I am reading Reluctant Saint, the life of Francis of Assisi, who broke down this wisdom from above into lots of sturdy poles to cause one to discrete, as in an action verb I sort of made up:
…While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart
… Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self
… Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love, and last but not least
…It is not fitting, when one is in God's service, to have a gloomy face or a chilling look.
When you lie down, you shall not be afraid; yes, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet.