We need more hee haw

There’s an interesting story in the Bible I want to point you to, but before I do, I really need to set you up. You see, I read the news and listen to the goings on in our community, and I’m left wondering where the voices of reason and wisdom are. Wise words are not ubiquitous—perhaps that’s because you are quiet.

Phil Strong

Often, if wisdom remains silent, an ass speaks.

The Bible story I refer to occurred around 1450BC and features a man named Balaam who is employed by a King to speak a curse on God’s people. Everyone knows this isn’t a good idea (except the King) and it doesn’t go to plan. Amidst the journey, an angel blocks the way causing the man’s donkey to bolt, then buck, and finally squash his rider against the wall. If you were the donkey you would have done the same, for an angel of God is an awe-some and awe-ful creature.

Frustrated by the beating from a prophet who can’t see things of God, the donkey retaliates with a sharp retort. Not a “hee haw,” but a profound question. Without a blink, the rider responds to the question, finding himself in dialogue with his ass.

As I said, when wisdom is absent, an ass speaks.

I admit to struggling recently as I read the ridiculous recycling rituals and rules required of residents. I’m confused by the impractical instruction, (and probably stubborn), and therefore refuse to clean my refuse, fold cardboard like bed sheets, or inspect the inside of plastic to find specific codes.

Where are the wise words of guidance to help me and all the other confused people? We all see the benefit of having us all practicing proper recycling for the benefit of the planet.

I recently enjoyed a coffee with Ange Holt, Chair of the local Community Board, and we shared our common goal of seeing positive change embraced publicly. We shared new ideas for community engagement and committed to working together as best we could. I commend the work of the Community Board to be a spokesperson for the people.

Did I just call Ange a donkey? Of course I didn’t, but I’m glad for the “hee haw” that happens in meetings like this.

I often joke God looked for a wise person and none were available, so he chose an ass like me to stand in stubborn, faithful, God-honouring obedience. And when the beating comes, I give my “hee haw”.

God is always looking for willing partners to be directing others in wise ways; that is, ways of His design for the benefit of others, that people might see Him more clearly and know Him more nearly.

Be the voice of positive change for our community— for the sake of the people. Speak up, speak wisely, speak with honour, and contribute to the change you wish to see.

Balaam needed the voice of his ass to redirect him in profitable ways that pleased God. And so do we, friends, so do we.

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