Sensible Advice

Wisdom's ways are pleasant, and her entire pathway is peace. 

Proverbs 3:17        


We live up a mountain road and it's an hour round-trip to drive to the nearest store.  That's why, when we realized we were out of dog food, we decided to wait until the next morning, since we had to run into town on other errands.  

So, what do we feed the dogs for the night? My wife brought in a half dozen tins of cat food off the porch, but they were frozen solid, so she put them on the woodstove to thaw.   


Later, I heard a loud pop from the living room, but it wasn't loud enough to arouse my curiosity. After a second pop, my wife investigated, and discovered the cans of cat food were exploding.  The tins were blowing up with such force the cat food was sprayed all over the ceiling. Some of it hit the stovepipe and filled the room with the aroma of scorched tuna.  

As my wife scrambled to remove the cat tins from the stove, another can exploded. Fortunately, it didn't hit her in the face, but her hair was splattered with tiny bits of cat food.  

My wife's advice to all of you is: never put frozen tins of cat food on a hot woodstove.  My advice to all of you husbands is: if your wife's head is covered with cat food, look concerned and ask her to talk about her feelings. Never -- and I repeat myself for emphasis -- never laugh so hard your tears obscure your vision and you knock over the potted plant in the hallway. 


I appreciate sensible advice, and usually wish I had more of it before I do the things I end up regretting.   

Why is it, then, I so easily view God's advice as a heavy weight to be shouldered? If a friend warns me that I'm about to step in a pile of dog poop, I thank him for the heads-up. Yet, when God warns me I'm about to walk into a minefield, it sometimes feels like he's nagging.   

We live in a broken world, and all experience grief. But it's surprising how many of our sorrows have been self-inflicted -- because we have either not known, or have ignored God's advice.  

One of the most refreshing truths the Bible teaches is that God's commands are not a burden. He wants to lighten our load.  He's prepared a pathway for us because it's easier than thrashing aimlessly through the thorn bushes.  


If you have any advice on how to remove cat food from the ceiling, I'm open to suggestions (the ceiling, I should add, is rough-hewn lumber).  I appreciate advice, not only in how to avoid a mess, but also in how to clean up afterward.  

Come to think of it, that's the same thing the Lord has been trying to teach me as well.  

(text copyright 2013 by and by Marty Kaarre)