03 August – Additional Notes

PROVERBS 3 – Pursuit of Happiness

When I read this Proverb, then think about what I could say about it, I get paralysed. It could take weeks for clever people to sit around a table pulling apart everything that King Solomon says here. Even longer to come up with a title that could sum up so much. There are plenty of books sold that talk about Solomon’s Proverbs. But the first thing that immediately stands out for me today has to be v5-6.

On our wedding day, Mark’s Grandmother gave a slip of paper to Mark and I. It was as if she was handing to us a secret formula for the cure of the world’s untreatable deceases, or the location to the Well of Life, or perhaps where our secret family fortunate had once been hidden. She told us that it was a Bible verse that had been given to her by her own parents on her wedding day in Wales in the early part of last century. When we unfolded it, we found the words of Proverbs 3:5-6.

About that time, a friend from Australia contacted me to explain that he couldn’t come to our wedding but that he’d like to buy us a Bible as a wedding gift. He wanted to know if we had a favourite Bible verse that he could get written in calligraphy inside the front cover. I told him the story about Mark’s Grandmother and Proverbs 3:5-6. After some weeks, the lovely gold leaf, leather-bound Bible arrived in the post. Inside the front cover were the beautifully inscribed words and we marvelled at all the effort he’d gone to on our behalf.

Rescued from the World's End
Rescued from the World’s End

Two years later, our first home, the MV Logos, ran aground off the southern tip of South America. The ship with everything in it (including all our wedding presents) had to be abandoned. On that cold January morning in January 1988, we lost everything except the clothes we stood up in. If you haven’t heard that story, I wrote about it in Chapter Five: At the World’s End in my second book Mysterious? …Expect the Unexpected.

Several months went by, however, when we met our Chief Engineer who had returned to the ship. He managed to get down into our cabin and very kindly rescued some wedding photos. Amazingly enough, he then handed us our “wedding Bible” with Proverbs 3:5-6 written into it.

Although we haven’t claimed this verse as a “life verse” or “motto”, in reality it has characterised our life paths ever since the beginning when we first stepped out on life’s road as individuals, without even knowing each other. Three decades on, the words of this Proverb (not just v5-6) are as true today as they ever have been for us. The only difference is that we had to trust that the words were true when our journey began. Now, the words have proven to be true…

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding. In ALL your ways, acknowledge (involve, listen to and obey) HIM and He will make your path straight.”

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