As a Coach I always work with the view of ‘beginning with the end in mind’ by Stephen Covey. But, its important to recognise both ‘the journey’ along the way, as well as the ‘destination.’
The people you meet, the things you do or do not do. The lessons you have to learn and the opportunities you have to share and teach. The journey is a deeper experience than the ‘living in the fast lane’ experience and the constant adrenaline rush. It’s the things that make life valuable and worth living for; the things that take you past the gloss and shine of life and brings you into a richer place that’s important and needs to be treasured. It is the tapestry of your life filled with vibrant colour and quality stitching amid the imperfections of our humanity.
I try to make time to have time out with God in my day. When I do it tends to be in the earliest part of the day, when things are more still and quiet. Today ,this was what was impressed upon me and I thought I would share. When considering the above I thought about Naomi and Ruth and the relationship of these two women. I thought about the story of how Naomi left Bethlehem with her husband Elimelech and they moved into an unknown country or place called Moab. Unfortunately, her husband died and the culture and the times were, that then, a women was financially supported by her husband. If for whatever reason he died, then a male family member could step in to take up the role or yours son’s would support you. Naomi was fortunate to have two sons who eventually married and for 10 years her family lived around her supporting her. But then her sons also died. Now Naomi, as far as society was concerned was old and had no male near her who could provide for her. She was now (for want of a better word) living a life that had in her own words ‘No hope’ (Ruth 1:12). But she did have two daughters-in-law Oprah and Ruth. Her relationship with these women were good and they loved her and did not want to abandon her.
Naomi had no wealth, she was now a mature women who was at a time in her life where to find a husband and to then have children would require an absolute miracle and the odds of this happening were totally outside reason. In her eyes she had nothing worthwhile to offer these young women ,who still had their life before them. She did her best to deswayed them and to release/push them from her life. ‘Go, return each of you to her mother’s house.’ (Ruth 1:8). Eventually, Oprah agreed and left, but Ruth was adamant she was going nowhere and stated:-
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
I really thought about these two women and their relationship. I thought about their journey and their end destination, which was to return back to Bethlehem having lived in Moab for more than 10 years. The thing that was impressed upon me was how Ruth recognised Naomi’s worth. She recognised that their was something too important in Naomi to let go. It was a relationship that was more valuable than going back to her mother and getting married again. I questioned ‘what was it that Naomi had?‘ For me it was ‘Wisdom and depth of character.’
‘Wisdom and depth of character.’
Wisdom is not something that is talked about or recognised as much in Western society as in other nations I believe today. Understanding life and how to live in it, was information that would be sort from your elders. Naomi knew how to live and be a women of character and integrity. Her wisdom is what guides Ruth in how to conduct herself in front of Boaz, who we all know eventually marries her.
Wisdom is such a valuable commodity, and yet so under valued today. There are certain lessons in life that are simply gained because you have lived more years than someone who is younger than you, and it has given you a valuable experience both for yourself and others. Are there things in you, stories about your life, things you have battled against and overcome, experiences that if shared could really help someone else? Are you someones Naomi?
Do you see something important in someone, to the point you feel they are worth clinging onto or investing in? Do you recognise someone has something about them that maybe society doesn’t value at the moment, but you do?
People can be as important to us as we are to them. This journey of life is never to be repeated, it is ‘the road less travelled’ so how can you impact someone life? Or who is there currently in your life that could have a big impact on you?
Naomi’s wisdom enabled Ruth to become the wife of Boaz and she provided the lineage of David and eventually Christ. Naomi’s life was changed from a barren place to a fruitful place. Those who originally saw her as poor and without hope had to change their word’s to:-
14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”
Do not under value wisdom and its importance in today’s society. Wisdom is needed and it’s not everyone, that has wisdom in how to live and get through on a day-to-day basis. Wisdom is a gift. There are what I call ‘valley lessons’ that speak volumes. Not everyone can say ‘been there done that!’ Naomi lost her husband and all her children who happened to be son’s, the providers in her life. But she still had a value, she still had something to say and share with the world, even if the only person who listened at that point in time was Ruth. You can be sure by the time Ruth got married and had her baby that audience had increased and Naomi carried a lot more influence.
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance
It pays to be wise and it also pays to be discerning of people.
Be the change you want to be. Until next time have a great day!