When you pray and seek wisdom…God will answer that prayer…Seek Wisdom…Proverbs 4:7, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”
When the phone rang, Claude was on the other end of the phone and it made my day. Just hearing his sweet voice made me warm all over. Claude and his wife Ginny have been role models for me for years, in fact for 25 years. He and Ginny are retired from work but have never retired from the Lord’s work. I have hundreds of examples of watching their lives lived out before mine.
Several moments really stand out in my mind. One was when I took a Precept course (Bible study) at church on Wednesday mornings. Claude and Ginny were the most eager and engaged students. I would often leave Bible study and think of them, more than 2 decades ahead of me, knowing they had lived and knew God’s word better than me but were thirsty for more.
The second and very vivid memory I have of this dear couple was several years later when they gave their testimony of God’s faithfulness to them over the suicide of their son. I was so shocked to hear their testimony. I had known and watched them for years and had no idea. Their testimony and love for the Lord engulfed me, inspired me and made me watch and observe them even more closely.
So it was a no brainer when Claude called to ask me to speak at his Optimist club this past Wednesday. I knew I would be coming home late on Tuesday after speaking at an event out of town, but didn’t mind at all getting up very early the next morning to be chauffeured by Claude to the Optimist breakfast meeting. The ride to and from was so precious…something I will cherish forever….from his extremely careful driving…to his retelling of several mission trips to Africa…to his prayer at breakfast…to his introduction of me…to him giving me a short resume of everyone that walked into the club meeting down to how many miles one man had traveled to get there, 40 miles.
I realized I was among an elite and accomplished group–retired doctors, retired architects, retired USC professors, and authors. Decades of “wisdom” in that room. I loved every minute to the point that I am joining that “Optimist Club”. I know if I go to breakfast twice a month with the people in that room, then I will “learn and grow” and receive wisdom. I am already making my list of questions. I may even see if Claude can be my “ride” just to get that one-on-one time with him….to and from.
I recently re-read a book entitled, “15 Invaluable Laws on Growth,” by Christian author and leadership expert, John Maxwell. One of the laws he references is the law of putting yourself around people who can offer wisdom…and experience. After rereading that book, I prayed. Yes, I prayed for God to show me a group. Not only did God have the answer come directly to me through a phone call, but through one whom I have admired and watched for a very, very long time, Claude.
Today, I am a proud member of Claude’s optimist club, along with long-time friend Hunter Rentz. God is so good. I am so excited for what the future holds for me becoming a member of this very wise group. I love the creed they recite as a group at the end of every meeting. It is one I deeply believe in and want to make sure I finish strong in. Maybe you will enjoy this awesome creed and apply it to your life. Anyone can benefit from it. It represents so much of what Scripture teaches:
The Optimist Creed
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
Proverbs 16:31, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in a way of righteousness.”
Proverbs 20:29, “The glory of the young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.”
Even though everyone in the group doesn’t have gray hair, they all have wisdom. At times, it may seem that gaining wisdom comes at a high price, but the Bible says wisdom is more profitable than gold.
I cannot help but end with I Kings 3:11-14. The Lord told Solomon to ask for what he wanted from God. Solomon did the unexpected. He asked for wisdom. Here is what God says. “So God said to him, ‘Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.’”