Today's Lectionary Text
Honor the Lord!
Come, my children, listen
Job 11:12 says, “It’s easier to tame a wild donkey than to make a fool wise.”
I’ve spent 20-plus years of my life around county fairs, either as an exhibitor, broadcasting results for a radio station, or writing features for a newspaper about what happens during fair week.
I showed hogs nearly every year I was in 4-H, and in doing so I accumulated enough red ribbons to cover the side of a barn. A blue ribbon once or twice, if I remember correctly, and a rare white ribbon — the bottom level — at least once as well.
I entered the showmanship competitions with my hogs as well and got about the same results, ribbon-wise. I admired the winners of those competitions. With the skill of a puppeteer, they were able to make the animal move on command and follow their every direction. Anyone who has had to deal with cattle in a pasture knows that’s far from the easiest task to do.
It was a staple during our fair week that an exhibitor from another part of the county — who later became a friend during high school — would roam the grounds followed by her little lamb. And yes, her name was Mary.
Taming those animals, and getting ready to put them on display, was difficult work. Imagine the time of Job, where wild donkeys had to be domesticated and put to work. Think of all the patience and exasperation that the endeavor took, to eventually find success.
How about making a “fool wise?” That verse from Job sets across a challenge. Especially these days, when the world of politics and even whether to take an injection becomes a question of us versus them. We know our side is right. The people who don’t believe what we believe are the fools, we tell ourselves. The question of who will come out on the right side of history may not ultimately be determined until long after we’re gone.
Making a “fool wise” may not be the challenge but finding common ground may be. Conflicting beliefs over the past few years have harmed families and friendships.
Find someone who may be on a different plane as yourself and talk over the differences. You may find that donkey becoming a little more tame.
— David Burke
Prayer for Reflection
Loving God, we sometimes think we know what we need to do, only to learn that we didn't have a clue. Give us wisdom so that we may more closely live the lives you desire for us. Amen.
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