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Mike Rowe's Math

I was listening to a podcast with Mike Rowe, host of "Dirty Jobs". He is the host of a program whereby Mike would spend a day doing some of the hardest, nastiest and most difficult jobs. Whether it was cleaning out sewers or castrating sheep he would do it for a day and in the process shine the light on how many things we take for granted are available because men and women are willing to do what most of us would never consider.

During the podcast he made the following comment, "The number four does not mean much to me unless it follows three and precedes five." Let that sink in for a moment.

How often do we gloss over the basics in life? How often do we take for granted the obvious? It may be common sense that numbers are in a definitive order but what would be the result if this was not the case?

What if the number four could be placed between nine and ten? The number four would lose all meaning and the remainder of our numbering system would fall apart as well. Mike has made a living out of understanding the foundational jobs which keep us safe, put food on our tables and provide us the energy to live relatively carefree lives.

It is at this time of year football coaches across the country start taking stock of the athletes they will have to work with in the fall. They begin the process of "ordering" their team and assembling the foundation for what they hope to be a successful season.

It is the prudent coach who recognizes the importance of this process. Likewise, it is the prudent athlete who can recognize his core strengths and weaknesses so as to better prepare himself to contribute to the team. Only one person gets to carry the ball at a time and only one person crosses the goal line but it is a team effort to accomplish the latter despite the skills of the former.


My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion

Proverbs 3:21


God asks us to use discretion in all that we do. He counsels us not to act hastily in our decision making process and to use common sense. I can still hear my grandfather, "Boy, use the sense the good Lord gave you!"

That might be a tad harsh by today's standards but was sound advice nevertheless. When others around you are losing their heads, be the one who grabs the rudder and navigates the rocky shoals. Start by understanding your God given talents and then applying them for the common good.

In these uncertain times, where there is consummate knowledge there sure is far less wisdom. We are best to heed the Lord's advice and not lose sight of sound wisdom and discretion. It is always important to remember it is best to get the 4,5,6 worked out in your own life before you start doing the math for others.

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