Steven and his dad regularly took their motorcycles for a ride along the East coast of South Africa, past the bathers and the fishermen, till they reached the deserted sand and sea. One day, after climbing their favorite sand dune, they competed to see who could make it back down in the least amount of jumps. On the 18th jump, Steven heard a bloodcurdling scream from behind. His father had landed on a hidden tree stump and sheared off part of his heel. The experience has left Steven cautious with his own children, allowing them to play on sand dunes, but warning them never to jump down one.

On average, we make 70 cognitive decisions each day. In the midst of our regular comforts and the success we enjoy, we often forget to seek the Lord in these decisions and, instead, we default to previous experience alone. Steven and his father had climbed up and down that sand dune many times but neither of them knew what lay unseen, just beneath the sand.

The people of Judah had become complacent in their relationship with God. They were prosperous and secure but they relied on their personal abilities and had become lax in their lifestyle (Joel 1:5). The prophet Joel warned that the day of reckoning was coming when their confidence in conventional wisdom would be shaken (Joel 1:15, Joel 2:11). He prophesied that a great plague of locusts would strip them of everything they valued. And he called on them to humbly repent and return to the Lord who is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger, and eager to relent and not punish (Joel 2:12-13).

If we seek godly wisdom, the Lord will grant it and provide His wise direction for the decisions we must make (Proverbs 2:6-11).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Ezra 3:7-13