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  • Writer's pictureJohn Coleman

Just Do It

Proverbs 4:7 (RSVCE): The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

Just Do It. A commercial shows a man from the waist up. He's on a basketball court in an empty gym. He bounces a basketball that occasionally pops up on the screen. It reverberates loudly in the empty gym. He does some tricks with the ball, showing evident skill. He moves around the court, and as he does, he shouts excuse after excuse. "It's raining outside. I'm fat. I'm tired. Too weak. Too slow. Too busy. I've got a headache." Suddenly, he slams the ball to the ground. The camera pans down and shows that is in a wheelchair. "Man, my feet hurt," he exclaims as he rolls off the court. The words "Just Do It" fade into vision.

This is one of the most potent ads I have seen on television, not to mention among the many good ones in Nike's "Just Do It" advertising campaign. The ads usually take aim at the excuses we all come up with not to exercise or try some activity. They encourage us to get out there and try-do it. In the case of Nike, you start by buying a pair of shoes or some sporty clothes.

The commercial popped into my head when I read this verse from Proverbs today. The words of a father to a son in this proverb talk about wisdom and the importance of it in life. It is not enough to do wise things. The proverb calls on the young man (and us) to "love" wisdom. (Pro 4:7).

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have prayed for wisdom. "Oh Lord, give me wisdom in making this decision. Give me wisdom in this relationship. Give, give, give." I was always thinking that somehow, by divine osmosis, it would just seep into my head and heart. Of course, there are times when it may work like that, but more often than not, we need to take some affirmative action.

The proverb uses the word "wisdom" twice in verse seven. At first, this only makes sense if we look at them as two types of wisdom distinct from each other. The first is the wisdom possessed by someone through experience and education. The second is the beginning of instruction- the thing being imparted from teacher to student.

We want wisdom to rain down on us and instruct us. We want to reflect the character of God in the things we do. We want to know what the mothers and fathers of our faith have to say on this or that or understand what they would do. And yet, we avoid reading anything they have said or what God has said through them. We don't seek out mentors in faith or life through friendship or workshops, etc.

There comes a point in time where we have to take action. If we want to love and know wisdom, we must begin seeking it. At a point, we need to stop talking about it and...just do it.

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