The world is knocking with clutter of mind and body. Trivial Pursuit is the name of today's game. We must decide for ourselves what is important, and then shut the door to the rubbish, and too much of it is exactly that. “Discretion will guard [us]" (Proverbs 2:11) so that we may divide the wheat from the chaff and the essential from the ever-increasing non-essentials.
I quote from an unknown author: “In a wonderful essay on ‘Self Reliance’ Emerson states a problem that has become even more acute since his time: ‘At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles. Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, charity, all knock at once at thy closet door and say—Come out unto us. Under these circumstances life can become like a room in a clutter. There is crowded confusion. Amid the clamor of many appeals there is need for a high degree of selectivity. Only the person who has a capacity for discrimination, and who has a genius for essentials, can prevent the good from becoming the enemy of the best.”
Life is too short to waste on mind-numbing frivolities. I again quote the same unknown author: “The irrevocability of our choices adds another incentive to the search for the ability to discriminate between what is good and what is bad. Man does not have a limitless capacity to experiment. A physician may perform an experiment on a human body, but if the patient loses his life the doctor cannot alter the fact of the man's death. He cannot say that he will try again and do better next time. If one could experiment endlessly, he might not be pressed to use his powers of discrimination, but man cannot summon some magic by which time is reversed and past events are blotted out. There is need for the wisdom that enables people to choose a right course before they have tried wrong courses that produce unalterable consequences.”
Discretion is indispensable, especially in today’s wracking world that seems literally hell-bent on destroying our peace of mind and heart. It’s tragic to see people screaming at each other, whether on TV or in our homes. What ever happened to civil discourse? Equally tragic is the constant appeal to our wants. God promises to address our needs, but He never promised to fulfill our every wish!
I close with this advice from Alexander Maclaren: "I know only one infallible way of preventing the common from becoming commonplace, of preventing the small from becoming trivial, of preventing the familiar from becoming contemptible, and it is to link it all to Jesus Christ, and to say, `For Thy sake, and unto Thee, I do this'; then, not only will the rough places become plain, and the crooked things straight, and not only will the mountains be brought low, but the valleys of the commonplace will be exalted" (Alexander Maclaren, D.D.).