I could see it all clearly. The family would be taking a mini-vacation to Palm Springs in the last week of June. We would spend one day driving through the Joshua Tree National Park and continue on to visit an outcropping of the Latham Shale in the Marble Mountain Range just north of there. We would hike for an hour or so and then spend another hour or so prospecting for trilobite fossils. Then, having found museum quality specimens of all seven of the most common species of trilobite found in that Cambrian formation, we would hike back to the mini van and drive back to the hotel for a good long soak in the pool. Memories would be made. Fun would be had. The children would think their Dad was a genius!
Have you ever had a great idea like that? This was my plan for how the Bjerkaas family would spend one June day in the Amboy wilderness area. But then I mentioned it at one of Thursday morning men’s Bible Studies (6:30 – 7:30 a.m. at the IHOP on the corner of Kanan and the 101). The brothers gave me puzzled expressions, except for one – “What are you crazy? It’s going to be 120 degrees there at that time of year?”
After continued conversation, I could now see it more clearly. The family would be taking a mini vacation to Palm Springs. We would spend hours just driving to the Marble Mountain Range, I had made incorrect assumptions about road speeds and conditions. Then we would hike for over an hour in a baking hot desert. The kids would be dropping like flies from dehydration or heat exhaustion. Most scenarios seemed to end with vultures, coyotes or EMTs playing key roles. As exciting as the prospect of trilobites was, the water park seemed like a better and better idea.
Proverbs 15:22 teaches us that “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.”
Isn’t it amazing how often our lives have illustrated this divine truth? My vacation this June could have gone from a fantastic plan to a toilsome disaster if it weren’t for some timely advice. Often, we learn to regret the choices we made that were contrary to the advice of folks we considered to be wise in everything but the advice they gave us.
Another proverb says it well: “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12.
This month, as we finalize our summer plans, let’s be thinking about our life plans. Are we honoring God and obeying his word by seeking and taking advice from godly men and women whose concern for us and experience in life should be counted one of our great earthly blessings? The Bjerkaas family will not be hunting trilobite fossils this summer. Maybe over Thanksgiving or Christmas break when the temperature in the deserts of San Bernardino County cools off a bit – then we will give it a shot, but certainly not in June! And in life? We will be prayerfully open to hearing how God might bless us through many advisors as we, together with all of you, seek to live for God’s glory and be a blessing to our neighbors.