In one of Aesop’s Fables, a donkey walking through the woods finds the skin of a lion. Hunters had killed the lion and left the skin to dry in the sun. The donkey put on the lion’s skin and was delighted to discover that all the other animals were terrified of him and ran away when he appeared. Rejoicing in his newfound respect, the donkey brayed his happiness—only to give himself away by his voice. The moral of the fable was clear: fine clothes may disguise, but silly words will disclose a fool.
In 2004, a painting by Anna Mary Robertson, better known as Grandma Moses, was brought to the Antiques Roadshow for appraisal. Born before the Civil War, Robertson did not take up painting until late in her life. Her primitive style eventually became extremely popular, and her work commanded a high price. The man who brought the painting to be evaluated had lived nearby and his mother was a friend of Grandma Moses. He said, “She was just a wonderful friend of the family. And she would let my mother buy these paintings, which she thought had relatively little value.
On Easter Sunday, 2013, the southbound side of I-77 near the North Carolina-Virginia border was closed for hours following a massive chain of accidents. Police later reported that seventeen different collisions involved ninety-five cars and trucks. The wrecks left three people dead and more than two dozen injured, many of them seriously. The cause of the accidents was people driving into a thick fog that descended over the Interstate that Sunday afternoon. A police spokesman said, “Visibility at the time this accident occurred was down to about one hundred feet or less.”
On July 6, 2011, a hiker, Brian Matayoshi, was attacked by a female grizzly bear near the Wapiti Lake trail in Yellowstone National Park. He and his wife were visiting the park as hundreds of thousands do each year. Apparently they surprised the mother grizzly and her cubs. The National Park Service issued a statement saying, “In an attempt to defend a perceived threat to her cubs, the bear attacked and fatally wounded the man.” Though the man did not intend to harm the bear or her cubs, she did not know that and responded according to her nature—with fatal results.
One of Aesop’s fables concerned a turtle who envied the ducks who swam in the pond where he lived. As he listened to them describe the wonders of the world they had seen, he was filled with a great desire to travel. But being a turtle, he was unable to travel far. Finally two ducks offered to help him. One of the ducks said, “We will each hold an end of a stick in our mouths. You hold the stick in the middle in your mouth, and we will carry you through the air so that you can see what we see when we fly. But be quiet or you will be sorry.”
There is an ancient Indian legend of a king who loved chess. He challenged visitors to a game, and was usually victorious. One day a traveling sage visited the kingdom and was challenged to a game. To entice him to play, the king offered to give the sage whatever reward he asked if he won. When the king was defeated, to honor his word he asked the sage what prize he would like. The sage asked for one grain of rice to placed on the first square of the chessboard, and then that it be doubled on each following square.
In May of 2012, a 32-carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring—that was part of the collection of Lily Safra, one of the richest women in the world—was sold at an auction. The pre-auction estimate for the sale was $3–5 million, but the final sale price ended up at $6.7 million. It is believed to be the most expensive ruby ever sold.
As valuable as rubies are, the Bible tells us that wisdom is far better and more valuable. No earthly treasure can compare to wisdom because nothing else offers the same protection, benefits, and blessings that wisdom does.
It was a stifling hot morning that August in Hiroshima, Japan. In 1945, citizens feared a pending air strike from the allied forces of World War II. Many people were evacuating belongings from their homes and making preparation for their safety. Hiroshima was one of the largest cities in Japan that had not yet been hit, and most people expected a raid any day.
For more than thirty years, archaeologist Howard Carter searched the deserts of Egypt for something that most people thought didn’t exist—the tomb of King Tutankhamen. Most experts believed that everything in the Valley of the Kings had already been discovered, but Carter continued his search. Eventually after five more years without result, Carter’s sponsor, Lord Carnarvon of England, declared that he would stop funding the search.
The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, rises more than 2,700 feet—over half a mile tall. It has 160 floors and is twice as tall as the Empire State Building in New York City. It is home to the world’s fastest elevator that travels at 40 miles per hour. The Burj Khalifa also hosts the world’s highest outdoor observation deck (on the 124th floor) and the world’s highest swimming pool (on the 76th floor).
Some time ago I came across this “message from God” that shows His love and concern for you and I so beautifully:
My Precious Child,
I am in control. I am sovereign. I am able to make things happen the way I want them to go. Yes, I allow you to make your own choices. And I know you don’t fully understand how these ideas can operate side by side. But I’m able to work within and around the choices you make to cause My ultimate purposes to succeed. For this, you must trust Me. Ask Me about your choices and plans. My wisdom is yours if you’ll ask.