One sunny morning, Farmer Johnson was riding his kicking mule to market when he saw Farmer Boggs, against whom he held an old grudge. The farmer knew Boggs' weakness lay in bragging and betting; therefore he crudely said to him, "How are you Mr. Boggs? It's a fine morning!"
"Hardly, Sir." replied Boggs. "Nice mule you are riding, what will he do for me, to bet on?" Farmer Johnson answered, "Bet on? I tell you, Boggs, he's the best mule in the county!" "Is that so," asked Farmer Boggs.
"Solid truth, every word! Even now, I am taking him to town for betting purposes. I will bet he can kick a fly off any man without hurting him!"
"Now see here, Mr. Johnson. I am not a betting character, but I'll bet you something on that myself!" "There's no use Boggs, don't bet!" said Farmer Johnson. "I have a great kicking donkey and I don't want to take your money."
"I'll take as many bets as I see fit, Mr. Johnson!" said Boggs.
"Well, if you are determined to bet, I will risk a small stake... say five dollars." answered the farmer. All right, Boggs, you're my man. But who will he kick the fly off? There is no one here but you and I."
"I guess, I'm to be the man," said Boggs. "You say he can kick a fly off without hurting? So I guess I will do it!" Alright," said farmer Johnson, "Now there is a fly on your shoulder. So stand very still."
The farmer adjusted his mule and cried out, "Whist, Jervey!" The mule swiftly raised his heels with such velocity and force that Boggs rose in the air like a bird, and landed on all fours in a muddy ditch, banged up against a rail fence.
"What in the world, that smarts! I knew your mule couldn't kick a fly off a man without hurting him! I wouldn't be kicked like that for fifty dollars! Now, you can just fork them stakes over to me!"
"No, sir!" said Farmer Johnson, "Jervey did just what I said he would. I said, "He would kick a fly off a man without it hurting him, and he did just that! You see the mule is not hurt by the operation."
As Jim brushed the mud off, he looked to the mule and then put his hand thoughtfully to his brow and remarked; "No Mr. Johnson. I don't think the mule is hurt; but I didn't understand the bet. You keep the money!" With that Farmer Boggs departed with a growl.
Jim was a fool for several reasons, first he didn't 'hear' that which was truly said! Second, his thinking was strictly to build himself up. And, thirdly, he was such a dumb ox to stand behind a kicking mule! He lacked wisdom!
To learn, to gain knowledge and wisdom, you must first reverence the Lord. Senseless and foolish people, have no respect for knowledge or wisdom. A fear that is worshipful and reverence before the Lord, is the starting point, the foundation of Godly wisdom, instruction and discipline.
As parents, we have all set boundaries with our children. Those limits set a dutiful fear in our parenting skills and a respectful fear within children. What mom or dad 'has not ' told their child, "the stove top is hot, don't touch" or "don't run into the street, you may be hit by a car." Out of this humble fear of our children being hurt, we teach them what they can and can not do.
When we know our boundaries and have a proper fear of the dangers of wrong doing, we can accept and extend that particular knowledge! More often there is also an awe and respect for the parent who is teaching these things.
Right now, our culture does not teach this kind of fear or respect, consequently many do not fully understand. Respect means that I trust another person and hold them in high regard. But, it also means that I am willing to be submissive to authority myself.
A fool refuses to submit to God because he doesn't trust God. When we fear the Lord and walk before Him in respect, He gives us wisdom and makes us wiser then we truly are.
It is only when we learn to respect, trust and submit to God, that we are able to receive those Godly dose's of Wisdom!