The Wisdom from Above

Are there any of you who are wise and understanding?  You are to prove it by your good life, by your good deeds performed with humility and wisdom.  Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil.  But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy.  And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace.  James 3:13, 16-18 (GNTD)
I’ve been reminded of this passage alot today.  It was part of Mark’s eulogy, given by our dear friend, Steve, at his funeral here in Wichita Falls.  Mark was a man who did good deeds, and performed them with humility and wisdom.  He harvested good from the seeds he planted while here, I can see them everywhere I look. 
He was always slow to anger, giving people the benefit of the doubt.  Me, well, I’ll be perfectly honest, I’m very much a work in progress.  I rock along pretty well, then something comes along like a basketball game with my 10 year old’s team playing a team that plays downright dirty.  That happened today.  Mark told me more than once that he would never be able to sit by me at sporting events our sons participated in….you see, my mouth and emotions can get in the way.  I’m guessing that’s one of the main reasons he coached and umpired 🙂

The game was ugly from the start.  I call it “street ball”. Ben, who usually doesn’t watch with much interest, even exclaimed, “This game is intense!”   And boy was it ever–hands in faces, body checks, outright intentional fouling.  Let’s just say “Mama wasn’t happy” to sit by and watch as Andrew had to fight his way down the court, the majority of the time draped by at least two (sometimes 3!) opponents.  To make a long story short, we lost by 2 points.  A hard-fought clean game, at least on our side.

On the way home, Andrew told me that if he had been hit one more time by one particular kid, he was thinking about retaliating.  This led to a car discussion about sportsmanship, and how no matter what is done to you, you do not stoop to the level of your opponent.  But “turn the other cheek” is a hard sell to a ticked-off 10 year old who plays fair.  He simply expects to be treated the way he treats others.   

I paraphrased the above scripture from James, telling him that both God and his dad were watching, and were proud that he did not stoop to street ball level.  I was certainly proud of him.

That pep talk would’ve been Mark’s territory; so would the decision to say “no” to a baseball tournament team that wanted Andrew to join.  Instead of Mark, the boys have me.  I turned the baseball team down, after canvassing friends for opinions, praying, and following my gut instinct.

We’re doing good.  Sometimes I feel like I’m operating on a wing and a prayer, but it’s always sufficient.  I pray for that wisdom that’s so prevalent in the Bible, confident God will give me what I need when I need it.

And today, His wisdom persuaded me to bite my tongue and remain seated for awhile as my sweat-drenched kid got tripped, body-checked, and carried a defender almost-piggyback-style down the court.  Dear Lord, I’m glad You have patience and won’t give up on me, because I still need a lot of work.

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