Last week, I asked my dad, a pastor in North Carolina, about something I read in Proverbs 1. Here are what two verses I read said:
8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
9 They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
After reading that, I thought I’d ask my dad what he would consider his “instruction.” I was curious what he and my mother would say. Here’s an excerpt of his response, which I think probably applies to a lot of us:
Jon, that’s a great question. My primary prayer is for you private, interior life to keep growing so that it can support your growing public life. The other half of my prayer is great thankfulness for you and the opportunities that God is giving you.
So, my immediate thoughts:
Read Scripture deeply (not for material but for life, like what you are doing with Proverbs, guarding and sustaining the good habits that you have had.)
Pray deeply – e.g. Prov 3:1-6. Turn what you are learning into prayers.
Read devotional authors deeply – find out from people you respect who they read (that would be a great list to develop down the road)
Share deeply with someone – a friend or counselor
Without missing the fun, sustain a healthy paranoia about your heart and your temptations. I think it is possible to have a healthy paranoia without living fearfully or cautiously. A healthy paranoia not only keeps us alert and honest, but hungry to keep learning. Success dulls our eagerness to learn.