Thursday, February 10, 2011

Proverbial Addiction

I have an addiction that I haven’t seen Oprah or Phil address. Maybe I should start a support group among bloggers because I think there are more than a few women with this problem. Undoubtedly men suffer, too, though probably not as much.

I love words and everything about learning a language. I’m also fascinated by slogans, mottos, logos, sayings, jingles, axioms, aphorisms, maxims, adages, dictums and even clichés. There, you just saw my addiction . . . to words.

If there’s a 12 step program for “grammaddicts” or “wordaholics” I’m heading in the other direction. In fact, I’m moving on to lengthy truisms (wise sayings).
A great place to find a wealth of wise sayings is the Old Testament book of Proverbs. This book got its English name from the Latin proverbium which means “a common saying”. The two parts, pro (forth) and verbum (word), combine to indicate that you are “putting words forth”. We’ve come to understand proverbs as concise and to the point sayings that hold the wisdom of Solomon.

Here are 3 of my favorite proverbs:

Proverbs 3: 5 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding This is a great one to live by and to remember in times of trouble, doubt, tragedy and when you have seemingly unanswerable questions.

Proverbs 16:33 – The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. That’s right, nothing is left to chance. God is in control.

Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. This is a good one to discuss with teenagers and for you and me to think about.

There is one particular proverb that I memorized decades ago because it summed up my life: Proverbs 4: 13 – Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Instruction was and is my life. I taught for 31 years. This proverb was always easy for me to find because 4/13 is my birthday. Pretty cool coincidence, huh? I don’t think so – nothing is left to chance (Proverbs 16:33).