“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)
On a recent trip for work, my friend Cheri and I took a foray outside for a break and some fun. We headed out into the warm California sunshine and drove down the coast until we found a kayak rental shop where we grabbed a paddle and hit the water.
Getting our balance and finding a rhythm in the sheltered marina area was a delight. Sparkling water flowed gently, and we bobbed along, oohhing and aahing over the gorgeous scenery and the playful otters swimming around us.
When we rented the kayaks, we learned about a beautiful destination where seals lay on the beach and swam in a little cove. All we had to do was paddle through the marina, take a left at the inlet, go under the bridge and head about a mile down a slough, a wide canal.
Our journey was smooth until we turned to go under the bridge where we hit a strong current rushing out of the slough. Our gentle paddling turned fierce, and it wasn't long before my flabby arms began to protest, aching from the force of the water moving against my efforts.
But I made progress, proceeded under the bridge, and judged my efforts successful. The rushing water carried seaweed and bits of debris at a fantastic rate. I was really moving! Or at least that's what I thought … until I shifted my gaze from the water around me to the land beside me. The land view revealed I wasn't moving forward, and my furious paddling against the swift current only held my position. I wasn't moving forward at all!
Cheri and I persevered and strained, but soon it became apparent we would never be able to make it to the cove where the seals resided. The current was too strong, and we were too weak. Sadly, we turned around and headed back to the marina.
On the way home, we processed our inability to reach our destination. The plans we made heading out for our adventure were beautiful, but flawed. We missed some key pieces that could have given us a different outcome.
We didn't consult the guide. If we had studied a tide chart, we'd have known the tide was going out, creating a situation where the water would be working against us. Using the tide chart and timing our trip accordingly would have allowed us to use the current to our advantage. Going with the tide would have made our trip possible and even easy.
How often have I failed to consult the guide for life, the Bible, only to find myself paddling against the tide? God has given us a source of wisdom that makes our journey through this life not perfect but much, much smoother. When we ignore His Word and chart our course, we doom ourselves to failure — no matter how beautiful the original plans seem.
We didn't seek the counsel of the more experienced. Before Cheri and I turned around in defeat, we saw a group of women in the distance happily drifting toward us with the current. We chatted with them as we put our boats away, and we asked them questions since their snazzy gear revealed their experience. They explained that if we had only paddled along the opposite bank of the slough where the current is slower, we would have been able to make headway.
Seeking the counsel of wise people with more experience is another way to make our journeys easier. Proverbs 15:22 says, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." Before we create our own plans, let's seek wisdom from people around us who know God's Word and have traveled ahead of us.
Next time I try kayaking, I'll know what to do, and I have some improved strategies for life too! Before making our plans, no matter how wonderful they seem to us, let's check our trustworthy guide, the Bible, and seek out the advice of the wise. Reaching our desired destination is much more likely when we take these steps.
Lord, help me look to the ultimate compass for life, Your Word, for wisdom. And give me courage and humility to reach out to those who have more life experience than I do to help me go wherever You're leading me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 13:20, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” (NIV)
She is everywhere. The “perfect” girl who leaves us feeling insignificant, insecure and, let's be real, a little frustrated with our own circumstances.
The thoughts you have about her — the ones you aren't proud of — we have them too. That's why we chose Why Her?: 6 Truths We Need to Hear When Measuring Up Leaves Us Falling Behind by Nicki Koziarz as our next free Online Bible Study (OBS). It's time we start thriving in our own skin again, friend. What could be better for daily wisdom than to dive into the ultimate guidebook, God's Word, with a group of friends? Our next P31 OBS kicks off TODAY! Find out more.
Visit Amy Carroll's blog today to see pictures of her day on the water (including some cute otters!), and to enter a giveaway for some fantastic books full of wisdom.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Think of a time when you found yourself “paddling against the tide” in life. How might the situation have been different if you had followed Scripture and consulted an experienced advisor?
Join the conversation! We'd love to hear your thoughts on how God's wisdom has guided you in the past.
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