12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
Much of life is spent at a walking pace, through daily routines and the often monotonous passing of time. It is during crises that the pace quickens to a run, as decisions must be made quickly and time is short. Because the wise are considerate of their steps, they are sure footed and deliberate whether walking or running through life. When the pace is slow they do not succumb to boredom, instead using the opportunity to plan ahead for the future. When crises come they are not caught off balance, while the fool has neither forethought nor preparation to keep him from stumbling.
“Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” A reiteration of “lean not on your own understanding” from the previous chapter, this is an acknowledgement that life often tests the limits of individual experience. Seek out instruction from those who have gone before you, learn from their successes as well as their failures. The scriptures are perhaps the best instruction, as “everything that was written in the past was written to teach us.”