Monday, June 6, 2011

The Wise Man Doeth

I grew up dancing in primary, offering to lead the music because of COURSE I knew all the hand signals as well as the words.  With my allergy-affected sinuses, I would sing and sing and sing and then talk as well.  I still remember being confused at why my other classmates didn't answer the questions as often as I did.  Maybe they didn't listen to Scripture Scouts.

One of the songs I grew up singing was "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man."  Oh my stars was it fun to bring the rains down and the floods up.  All the boys would go crazy at the end when the Foolish Man's house washed away.  Sometimes, I'd get hit by their flailing arms.

At the time of this picture, I lived on 777 Murray Road.  The house was small, and not quite perfect.  My parents shared the master bedroom, and across the hall from them lived Drake and Racer.  Terra and I believed in imaginary friends, and drew doors to their worlds on Drake's wall as we stood inside his crib.  

I don't think my mom believed our claim that Drakey did it.

If you were to walk west, you'd pass through our living room, where you could see both our front door and back door.  Walking further would lead you into the kitchen, with its blue pinstripe walls.  Even FURTHER would bring you to mine and Terra's quarters.  We lived in the laundry room.  Part of the floor was linoleum like the kitchen, and a small carpeted section hosted our bunk bed.  There was always sand everywhere.  On the floor, in the light fixtures, in the bathroom sink.  Always sand, everywhere.

We lived less than a five minute walk from the beach.  If I were to exit the door from my bedroom, I could see the ocean.  Most of the time, we'd walk down as a family; the "big ones" would carry a yellow floaty-boat so that we could cross the Mad River to get to the coast.  We'd walk down the hill, with me wondering the whole time why I couldn't sit in the boat like Racer got to, and trying so hard to carry it although my arms weren't quite long enough to wrap around anything.  After crossing the Hammond Trail, we would descend down wooden and sandy steps, and then cross the river.

Most of the time, we could just wade across, completely unaffected.  Then we could go frolick on the empty beach, finding full sand dollars and making mermaids of ourselves.

Once, though, a huge storm came through.  As a result, the river and the ocean somehow met together, completely wiping out the beach.  I remember walking down the Hammond Trail and being entranced by the whirlpools I could see in the Mad River.  Perhaps I had been watching too much of The Rescuers.

That silly Foolish Man.  I'd think.  He just didn't know that a storm would come and wash all the sand away.  How was he supposed to know that the Mad River was going to go crazy?

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.  
 (Matthew 7:24-27, King James Version)

 The Foolish Man was not foolish out of ignorance.  He knew.

He just simply didn't do.

Don't we all sometimes find it easier to lounge in our beach house rather than drill away into a rocky foundation?  We know what's right.  But we'll just do it later.
"...somewhere between the hearing, the writing of a reminder on our smartphone, and the actual doing, our 'do it' switch gets rotated to the 'later' position.... let's make sure to set our 'do it' switch always to the 'now' position!" (Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Your Potential, Your Privilege", April 2011 General Conference Priesthood Session)
Exercise, homework, scripture study, dishes, showering, calling up an old friend... later.

The Wise Man Doeth.
View from the Hammond Trail of Mad River and Pacific Ocean, May 2009

Let us be wise men.