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Proverbial Wisdom

While reading Proverbs a few days ago, I recognized some familiar verses:

[5] Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. [6] In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. [7] Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7, KJV)

The verses used to be on the left-side wall in the old JS auditorium. There aren’t that many things I clearly remember from my JS days; certainly I don’t remember the words of lessons or speeches. The verses on the wall are probably the only extended passage of words I clearly remember. I still remember being struck by the rhyme and rhythm of ‘Be not wise in thine own eyes’ (one-two-three and one-two-three); I wouldn’t have thought of calling it rhythm or rhyme, though. Or assonance. But I still enjoy the rhythm of the passage in the same way today. 

They used OHPs and transparencies in those days. There weren’t LCD projectors in every room. (Three projectors, in two cases.) Chapel didn’t involve blockquotes of verses in vivid color. I remember listening, though, even if I can’t quite remember the words that were said. And when my attention did wander, I’d look at the words on the wall. There weren’t stone sculptures and disposable banners everywhere either. Also, I didn’t go to Sunday school, or Sunday service, for that matter. Maybe that’s why, in primary school, I never had the feeling that Bible verses were cheap, although I hesitate to ascribe the feeling to simple overexposure. 

In any case, I think the verses on the wall in the JS auditorium are great, great words to have in any Christian educational institution that has ‘character building’ as one of its stated aims, especially when the ones in whom character is supposed to be built are still impressionable and with ‘character’ still mostly unformed. 

Proverbs seems to have been an appropriate book for meditation in the past week or so. The call to seek wisdom does compel one to refocus and evaluate one’s actions. Are they constructive? (Not just productive; think capital vs. consumption goods.) Do they have value? What kind of value? Overall, I find it has helped keep things in perspective.

Categories: Reflection
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