My mom was a philosopher. I didn’t realize it while I was growing up, but she would quote ancient Greek philosophers during my rearing. I never knew she was such an avid pupil of Epictetus and Zeno, but when she must have been when she told me, “You have two hears and one mouth; hear more, speak less.”
Honestly, my mom probably never heard of Epictetus or Zeno, but then the value of hearing did not originate with them. Scan through Proverbs 18 for “receptor” words like seek, discover, and getteth. Someone who applies themselves to wisdom before speaking fairs much better in their relationships. Then you see the fool seems to run aground repeatedly because of their blundering tendency to speak before thinking. “A fool hath no delight in understanding…[His] mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul…He that answereth a matter before he hearth it, it is folly and shame unto him” (Proverbs 18:2, 7, 13).
One of the things I love about our church’s location is the gentle stream behind the church. The pleasant, bubbly flow of the stream refreshes my ears which are so connected to the artificial sounds technology generates. Think of the contrast in our social environment. You can silence the noise of life through the powerful words of wisdom which are “as a flowing brook” (Proverbs 18:4).
Excluding some of the torrential storms, the stream is a constant, steady force which cuts a path through the earth. The fool rushes in, but the wise exercise strategic patience. In time, the wealth of wisdom will return a great dividend. This is a necessary reminder for me. I hope it encourages you as well.