20. Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
Garbage in, garbage out. In the jail last night we had a very interesting conversation about “the cycle”. One guy is in for his 24th time. 24 times through the jail/court/jail system. Insanity? Yep.
Insanity – we all have heard the definition of ‘doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results’. Insanity is not liking where you are at and continuing to do it anyway. Usually, it’s people, places and things. It’s also where you (me, we) are centered. What we’re centered on is who we’re going to be. If you don’t like where you are at, change your center, and take a hard look at the people, places and things that are feeding you.
Garbage in, garbage out.
Life on life’s terms isn’t easy. We talked about the “eternal perspective” and how that changes everything – that what happens here on earth doesn’t matter because it’s temporary, we don’t take it with us – not the bad, not the good. What we do here does matter because it determines what happens next.
It also matters to those that follow us. We leave a legacy whether we want to or not. I see lots of horrific legacies that have been laid on the shoulders of these men. Not every man has one, but the overwhelming majority do. Garbage in, garbage out. The saddest part for me is that inside these wounded souls are good men who don’t know a better way.
2. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
This is the promise. It might not seem like it when you’re experiencing it, but it is true. Then, come the decision point on where we’ll spend eternity, it’s true or if you’ve rejected God, it’s the exact opposite. All because of the decisions we’ve made here. Garbage in, garbage out. Amazing in, amazing out.
Ecclesiastes 8:2-7 (MSG)
2-7 Do what your king commands; you gave a sacred oath of obedience. Don’t worryingly second-guess your orders or try to back out when the task is unpleasant. You’re serving his pleasure, not yours. The king has the last word. Who dares say to him, “What are you doing?” Carrying out orders won’t hurt you a bit; the wise person obeys promptly and accurately. Yes, there’s a right time and way for everything, even though, unfortunately, we miss it for the most part. It’s true that no one knows what’s going to happen, or when. Who’s around to tell us?