January 24, 2015
Proverbs 23:4 (read the whole chapter)
By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.
Today’s text took me straight to the home of my grandparents. I was blessed to grow up in a multi-generational farming family who all lived in the same small town. I lived less than a mile from my grandparents, whom I affectionately called Memaw and Pepaw. (pronounced with long e’s.)
One of the great gifts of my childhood was growing up in and around Memaw and Pepaw’s house. It was a house built by wisdom.
Though they could have afforded a much larger home, they enjoyed the simplicity of living smaller. The house of three bedrooms and three baths couldn’t have been more than a couple thousand square feet. There was the “boys room” where my Dad and Uncle grew up, Memaw and Pepaw’s room, a guest room, den, living room, dining room and breakfast room. All seven rooms knew their purpose well and served the family for decades with profound consistency. I remember not a single remodeling project. They never upgraded the appliances. Everything had its place and it all worked together with a style and beauty that had every-day functionality. They established this house with the collective understanding of the generations of wisdom it takes to make a home.
Then there were the rare and beautiful treasures. I remember the ornately crafted headboard with the four tree like posts that made up their “double” bed. Then there was that one of its kind “hall-tree” with the rust flecked mirror in the middle and all those tree like branches on which Pepaw’s curated collection of cowboy hats and fedoras hung and the marble table top that served as the garrison for the umbrellas which doubled as our swords. The things they bought for that home, while probably not expensive, held exquisite value.
Then there was the boy’s room with those dressers still holding the treasures of our fathers’ growing up years; pocket knives, money clips, air force stripes and shotgun shells. Their lives spread out before us along the walls, chronicled in vintage framed black and white photographs. I would love to tell you about the breakfast room and the oak table the family dined around for over a century.
Life’s truest treasures, like wisdom, gain their value from the worth conferred on them by their holder rather than by their purchase price. Rarity has less to do with limited editions and everything to do with the stories infused into the life of the object.
Reflecting on today’s text and this analogy of wisdom with a well built house has me thinking I want my life to possess the qualities of my grandparents home; a place of spacious simplicity and well worn wisdom. . . . a place where everything was old from the first day and yet seemed to ever renew itself with each passing year. Everything aged yet nothing got older.
That’s what the wisdom and knowledge of God are like. They shape our lives like a well built house, filling our years with rare and beautiful treasures.
I’ll see you tomorrow in Proverbs 25.
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