Do you ever remember things that happened to you from long ago in your past? I was thinking the other day of a time when I was six years old – a really little guy! Back then our family enjoyed going to a long creek by our home called Lick Creek. Sometimes the water was high – sometimes it was lower. We kids loved going down there to build dams trying to stop the water from running.
That particular afternoon we were all there. My dad in the water with my sisters. My mom and I up on the hillside where I was playing with a stick by the side of the creek. Suddenly I heard, “John Mark! Come here right now!”
Now my parents always called me John Mark generally when I had done something wrong. Like that time I took a knife and cut the carpet. I would hear “JOHN MARK” when I had done something my parents were not happy with!
So I figured “OK, I must have done something wrong again!” And I went running over to my mom. She said, “Sit down right here. I want to show you something.”
I sat down next to her and she said, "Look down there at that stick." And she pointed out a stick that I hadn’t seen from where I was playing. As I watched, suddenly that “stick” started to move! It was a snake! In my memory today, it was a huge, black snake – at least six feet long! And it scared me!
Now I’m not sure how big that snake really was, but I do remember what my mom told me after that. “John, you need to be sure that you seek out friends and other people around you who can give you good advice. If you hadn’t listened to me, that snake might have bit you! You need to listen to the people around you.”
I still remember my mom's advice to this day. I look for wise counselors that I can talk with. I make mistakes all of the time and need input from others who can give me good counsel. This has been true throughout my life – early on with my kids and in marriage. Even now walking through life with my adult children and their spouses I still need advice from those who know more than I do.
In the decisions Stacy & I are making daily, we make a point to know some wise counselors and listen to them. We ask questions and then consider their advice. We try to talk less and listen more.
I would encourage you to know who your wise counselors are. Those who can help you assess a situation, understand what your desired outcome it, and recommend steps you need to take to accomplish your goals.
When you have those conversations – when you align yourself with wise counselors who have experience, wisdom, and knowledge on a particular topic – listen to them! Allow your trusted counselors to come along side you and walk with you through those decision points you're facing.
When we try to make decisions on our own, without the assistance of others, it’s easy to miss out on important details someone else might notice. Make sure you’re open to listening to wise counselors.