Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).
My first attempt at plumbing was a disaster. What my father-in-law assured me was an easy thirty-minute job (installing a garbage disposal) took all day – and several trips to the plumbing supply house and untold frustration. The reason he thought it was an easy thirty-minute job was that he had already done it – several times over the years – and knew how and what to expect. I knew neither.
It wasn’t just Roy’s personal experience that made the task seem easy. He also had a good teacher. As a young man Roy undertook to build a house. When it came to plumbing (something he knew nothing about at the time), his wife’s uncle (an experienced plumber) came and spent a week helping him. Without that help, the house might never have been finished.
The wise person recognizes his (her) limitations and brings in help. When it comes to the affairs of life, Solomon wrote that wisdom (knowledge that comes from experience) begins with consulting God. In fact, the first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs begins and ends with the note that wisdom starts with God. And in the New Testament, James wrote: “If you lack wisdom, ask God.”
What does all this have to do with plumbing? Perhaps nothing. On the other hand, prayer that God might open my eyes to my own limitations would have been a good idea. Prayer that God might make me humble enough to ask for direction and help couldn’t hurt either, followed up with prayer that God might give me a receptive heart to instruction.
The result might have been a thirty minute job rather than one that took all day. Or, in the words of Solomon, a straighter path.