Go Ahead, Dad

February 23, 2011
by Martin Wiles

Proverbs 22:3 – A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. (NLT)

Winter had already come to the mountains of South Carolina. What we didn't know would hurt us. My brother, son, daughter, and I planned an overnight camping excursion near Oconee State Park. As we turned onto the partially paved road, snow and a moderately-iced-over slush greeted us.

I immediately applied the brakes with every intention of turning around, when my son blurted out, "Go ahead, Dad." At twelve years of age, sliding off the side of the mountain or into it seemed exciting. He probably even relished the idea. Having reached mid-life, I was concerned about our tenuous situation.

Not wanting to disappoint him, I plowed ahead, hoping to turn around at the bottom of the hill. That part of the plan materialized without incident. What I didn't anticipate was the slipping and sliding on the trip back uphill. We got stuck.

After two miles huffing down a highway, a local man finally picked us up and called some of his buddies who later rescued us, at no charge. I can think of no better portrait of prudent versus simple-minded thinking. (Who did which is open for debate.)

Age has a way of making us more cautious — except when dads want to act like kids again — and experience teaches lessons that enable us to avoid foolish decisions. Pausing, planning, and meditating are all prudent actions worth taking when important choices are at hand. Adding consultation with an all-wise Creator complements the mix and should even precede it.

Prayer: Lord, remind us that You are in our future. Lead us to consult You in every decision. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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