by Harriett V. Bennett
Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands. Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes. Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family.
Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman, from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman.
Proverbs 7: 1-5 (NLT)
I love old movies. I’m always checking the guide of one popular classic movie network to see what’s in the lineup for that day or week, especially now that I’ve freed up some time for viewing with my recent retirement. You can learn a lot from these mostly black and white — but — color flicks too. I am proudly aging myself here, but happy to do so to make my point on today’s challenge scripture.
On December 22.1967, a movie was released titled, The Graduate. It was a romantic comedy-drama that told the story of a 21-year old recent college graduate. Uninspired and lacking in conviction for what to do with his life, he falls easy prey and is seduced by an older married woman and friend of the family. This movie came out just before Christmas and, at 13, you can imagine back then that this movie was nowhere to be found on my wish list. Who knew some years later the movie and the message would mean something to me. Not because decades later my own almost college graduate son’s life at age 21 might replicate his. Nope, me and the village of reality-based prayer warriors tackled that head on! We prayed for the best as my son got his taste of independence several hundred miles away in college, or several blocks down the road. All we could do was rely on some part of God’s instruction that we had figuratively “tied on his finger” so he would be fortified under tempting temptations.
In the olden days, the string on the finger was designed to keep thoughts there to be remembered later when they were most needed. As I read and thought about Proverbs 7, it did make me wonder if, as the saying goes, art imitated life for the author of the book that became this iconic movie. For all that the actor went through in The Graduate, it makes you wonder if anyone ever took the time to “tie the string around his finger” to reinforce wisdom and insight, especially when it was most needed? If young people are in your life, spend some time in this chapter. Want to know how The Graduate ended? Download the movie. String anyone?