A long while back, someone shared with me an Alcoholics Anonymous story called Autobiography in Five Chapters (attributed to Portia Nelson).
I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in.I am lost. I am hopeless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I’m in the same place. But it isn’t my fault.It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.I see it is there. I still fall in…it’s a habit. My eyes are open; I know where I am;It is my fault. I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
Those words seem to echo the wisdom of Proverbs:
Hear, my child, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.
I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
When you walk, your step will not be hampered; and if you run, you will not stumble.
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.
Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evildoers.
Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.
Part of the joy of the “getting of wisdom” is learning to walk on the path that God encourages, and to not walk down the wrong streets. Have I made this my practice?
God, guide my feet to follow the path of Jesus Christ, My Lord and Savior, today and every day. Amen.