We’ve never been one of those families that sits around a campfire telling scary stories. Every once in a while, though, I have to admit I liked to frighten my teenage girls with one of the scariest stories I know. And it happened to ME. It’s the story about when I was a little girl … and my mom … gave me …(insert a maniacal “mwah-ah-ah” here) … a HOME PERM. I describe in gory detail how I had to spend several weeks looking like a dandelion, the other cruel children making wishes and blowing on my head. Frightening.
What can raise up a fresh batch of goose bumps like a story of evil Frankenstein-ish chemicals and a perm gone bad? And could anything be scarier than that first look in the mirror? You’re pretty sure you’re so frightened your hair is standing on end, but who could tell? After hearing my dandelion story, I honestly think my girls would buy a home lobotomy kit before they would buy a home perm kit.
Didn’t I hear this comment about those bottles of perm solution? “I’d rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me.”
How many people do you know who seem to have found a lobotomy blue light special? So many seem to make every life decision pointedly and purposefully completely opposite what the Lord spells out for us to do in His Word. It’s like mocking His instruction! Now there’s a reason to fear. Proverbs 9:9-12 says, “Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.”
Making life choices contrary to the Father’s instruction brings suffering. But choosing to live a life of obedience results in wisdom, blessing and reward. That life of obedience starts with the good kind of fear. Not the hair-curling kind of fear, but a humble, awed reverence for the holy, holy, holy God.
Knowing, fearing and following Him might not guarantee every day is a good hair day, but wisdom really does lead to more wisdom. It’s blessing that becomes more blessing. The blessings lead right into our ultimate blessing when we’ll see Jesus face to face. There will be no more evil, no more pain, and no more tears. It’s an eternal life full of love and laughter. And none of our heavenly laughter will be that maniacal kind.
That’s a thought that almost always leaves me goosebumpy. The good kind of goosebumps. Not the chemically inspired kind.
RHONDA RHEA / CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST