Monday, August 24, 2009

Knowledge is in Books

In honor of back-to-school, I broke out an old classic, one of my all-time favorite children's stories. "Petunia" is the story of a silly goose who finds a book in the farmyard one day. She knows that books are very precious because she remembers overhearing the farmer, Mr. Pumpkin, telling his son that, "he who owns books and loves them is wise." Well, she seizes the opportunity to no longer be a silly goose, picks up the book and places it under her wing. She carries the book everywhere with her and knowing that she is so wise, she begins to get proud so her neck stretches out a notch. One by one the farm animals seek out her wise counsel and time and again it is obvious that Petunia is still just as ignorant as she was before. Finally, after mistaking dynamite for candy and almost blowing up all of her friends, the book blows open and she sees the pages inside for the first time. Petunia realizes that there is writing on the pages that she can't read. And at last she sighs, "Now I understand. It was not enough to carry wisdom under my wing. I must put it in my mind and in my heart. And to do that I must learn to read."

Of course, the moral of the story is that all young people who want to be wise must learn to read. I can't help making another application, though. My husband has been teaching lately on the Sufficiency of Scripture. We all own Bibles, most of us even get them out and dust them off a couple of times a week for church or Bible study. Is it enough if we want to be wise? Wisdom is more than worldly knowledge or intellectual mastery of some subject. It's a practical knowledge that works within the confines of God's moral law. It is the ability to do the right thing in a difficult circumstance. It requires reading and studying and meditating over and memorizing Scripture. The Bible needs to be our main course, not a side dish.

Petunia the silly goose learned that in order for wisdom to change her life it had to start with her mind and her heart. This reminds me of Psalm 119:11 "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." and of Romans 12:2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

So goes the mind, so goes the rest of us.

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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.