Posted on May 17, 2018 by America's Keswick in Victory Call

I love spring.  Each season has its own beauty.  The beauty of spring – if you can stand the pollen – is the bursting forth of color after winter’s barrenness.  I love watching each flower bloom in its turn – the daffodils and tulips, the forsythia, the azaleas, and the wisteria.

Wisteria is an interesting plant.  It can become a beautiful shrub or tree all on its own if trained properly, but most often is seen intertwined with other trees. According to Wikipedia, “Wisterias climb by twining their stems either clockwise or counterclockwise around any available support. They can climb as high as 20 m (66 ft.) above the ground and spread out 10 m (33 ft.) laterally.”

We used to have a beautiful wisteria tree near Saint Memorial Lodge, only it wasn’t really a wisteria tree. It was an old pine tree that the wisteria had affixed itself to. And ultimately, as wisteria will do, it strangled the pine tree.

As I’ve been driving around recently, seeing wisteria in many places, twining itself on other trees, it made me think of what sin sometimes can do in our lives.  Sin can be enticing – just like a beautiful wisteria blossom. But it can twine itself around our hearts and lives, eventually strangling and choking out other things in our lives. Some things may seem beautiful, but Proverbs 31:30 says, Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing…”  

What things could entice us with something that appears good but is not? How much time do we spend on our phones or computers that might not be bad, but could that time be put to better use? How much money do we spend on that beautiful ________ (you fill it in – purse, pair of shoes, jewelry) that we don’t really need? How about that bowl of ice cream that we really want, but know that we don’t need? None of those things are bad, but are they best?

We need to learn discernment when it comes to sorting out the good from the best, the possible dangers than underlie the beautiful.

Proverbs 2: 1-5 says:

My son [daughter], if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
 So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
 Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
 If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.

And the second half of Proverbs 31:30 is

“But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

Fear of the Lord cultivates in us the wisdom to discern between good and better, and to see beneath the beauty to the truth.

Written by Ruth Schmidt: Ruth Schmidt has worked at America’s Keswick since 1985. She currently serves as Administrative Assistant to Bill Welte.


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