I have a grandson who is a budding entrepreneur. His daddy brought down a tree in the front yard and then reduced the trunk to firewood.
The boy seized the opportunity. He took a cardboard box and made himself a sandwich sign. He draped it over his shoulders and paraded around the neighborhood hoping to retail some of his fireplace fuel. The sign said, “FRESH FIREWOOD.”
I so laughed when my daughter sent me a picture of him with his sign.
“Fresh” is a word that you might use to sell strawberries, green beans or baked goods – but not firewood.
Fresh firewood has a 30% water content. Have you ever tried to light a campfire made of fresh firewood? You’ll waste a box of matches and scorch a few fingers trying. If you should coax a tiny flame, you won’t maintain it for long.
The green wood needs to be seasoned for 6 months to get to the 20% level. It’ll burn then. He might have bumped up his sales if the sign had read, “stale firewood.”
As it was, he failed to make his first sale.
That’s kind of the way it is these days – fresh and new are usually regarded as being better. Often, they are, but rarely when it comes to wisdom
Knowledge also needs to be seasoned. Time and experience enable a person to take what they know and fine tune its application.
A teacher fresh out of college may be knowledgeable, but it will take time before she becomes a wise teacher.
Unless I want help with my iPhone, I seek advice from an older person. (This is a challenge for me since I am now old) I want to hear advice from someone who has walked in my shoes and can look back with 20/20 vision to help me see what still lies ahead.
Suppose a young couple decides to get premarital counseling before they say, “I do.” Who best to guide them?
There is the young associate pastor who has been married for 3 years, but the senior pastor is also an option. He and his wife have been happily married for 33 years and have raised 2 children.
The couple might be more at ease with the younger pastor, but they would receive the maximum wisdom dose from the senior. The younger could say to them, “This is what my wife and I are learning – and this is how it seems to be working out.”
The senior can say, “This is what we have experienced, and this is what we have learned from a host of other couples over the years – and this is how it works out.
He can bring to the table both the successes and mistakes that were made along the way.
Or how about your child who lies with the greatest of ease. You need some help. Should you get it by surveying your Facebook peers OR invite an older wiser mother over for coffee and talk to her?
Of course, everyone has experience from which we can learn, but the experience span of a young person is dwarfed by that of an older person.
King Rehoboam needed advice. His subjects complained about the burden that his father had imposed on them. He consulted with his elder counselors. They encouraged him to be a servant to his people and reduce the strain. They would love him for it and serve him forever.
But then the king summoned his young peers and asked them for their input. They told him to turn up the heat and demand more of his people. (1 Kings 12)
He heeded his youngers. His harsh response triggered 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel to secede and a bloody civil war to follow and he spent the rest of his miserable life saying, “What was I thinking?”
As you make your way, go ahead get input from your peers. Sometimes even your children have some jewels to pass on, but don’t forget to obtain and give extra weight to the advice and experience of godly seasoned folks.
And be cautious about buying any fresh firewood!