Wisdom breathes life into her children
and admonishes those who seek her.
He who loves her loves life;
those who seek her will be embraced by the Lord.
He who holds her fast inherits glory;
wherever he dwells, the LORD bestows blessings.
Perhaps I don’t read enough spiritual reading but I find little about wisdom in my reading. The writers of both scripture and piety often speak of “Lady Wisdom” and esteem her as one of God’s greatest gifts. In our time she has been overwhelmed by knowledge, which has been fragmented into facts, which are ground further into factoids and sound bites.
Like many people I yell at the radio as I drive and last week I heard a story about a new school someone wants to build. It would be a SET school: science, engineering and technology. I hollered, “and philosophy?”
Who is going to teach these whiz kids how to THINK about what they’re doing? How are they going to live in the new world they build if they don’t know how to think about it?
The technological world is changing daily around us under tidal waves – now called tsunamis – of new ideas; but millions of Americans still think the world was built in seven days. They’re still thinking Jesus went “up into heaven” as if heaven is a sky-floating island out of the movie Avatar. I don’t suppose the whiz kids suffer those illusions but they’re perceptions of life in the 21st century may be just as skewed. Many will bring 19th century religious and 20th century philosophical ideas to their mid-21st century decisions. They will not be able to imagine, see or comprehend what is happening around them or within them – even as life passes them by.
Inevitably, others will make decisions for them. When I was in Louisiana I heard a preacher chide the youth of his church, “While you were rapping and napping, someone else was mapping your future!” I might say to today’s philosophically illiterate whiz kids, “While you were tinkering with your toys, someone else ate your breakfast.”
Only the Wisdom of God, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit, can prepare us to live in our rapidly changing world. This is not a simple matter of “Pray More!” – although that’s important. Wisdom requires study, discussion, listening, pondering and asking for God’s guidance. It requires a deep knowledge of our Jewish roots, Greek origins, Roman legal structures, English customs and Christian traditions.
Lady Wisdom knows the future. She will show it to her favorites as it happens.
Get wisdom, get understanding!
Do not forget or turn aside from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
love her, and she will safeguard you;
The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom;
whatever else you get, get understanding. Proverb 4:5-7