Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On Wisdom

I jumped into a conversation about wisdom, prompted by Kat's questions "How do you pursue Wisdom?" and "How do you learn best?"

I do glean a lot from books, blogs, conversation, audiobooks, etc. But I think most of what I glean is not truly wisdom as much as it is encouragement, neat ideas, or just interesting. Some of those resources do share wisdom, or inspire me to pursue wisdom. But for the most part I think the questions “How do you pursue wisdom?” and “How do you learn best?” may be related, but they are really not the same question.

        So if wisdom comes from God, how do we pursue it? And what is wisdom anyway? Is it some special brand of smart?

My favorite passage about wisdom is Proverbs 2:
1 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
3 For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
4 If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD
And discover the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

I love this passage, and I love that this post and discussion have prompted me to revisit it. I guess the key things here that impact how I set my heart to gain wisdom are
        v.1 the essential centrality of the Word as beloved instructor,
        v.2 the required devotion of my attention and affection,
        v.3 the necessity of a response of sincere spoken prayer,
        v.4 the high value placed upon wisdom that produces diligent perseverance
        And the final key – the possession of wisdom is inseparable from the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God.

        So, I pursue wisdom by setting my heart and my mind continually upon the Lord, devoting myself to long and loving meditation on the word and the person of Christ, speaking prayers to the God of the universe (believing that He hears every one), and valuing my communion with God as priceless above all else. For me, “long and loving meditation” in this season usually does not look like spending even an hour-long block of time giving my exclusive attention to a passage of scripture. It’s simply the grace-empowered setting of my heart on a pilgrimage into the heart of God. I want to fill my mind with thoughts of the Lord and His Word. I will seek you today Lord, and when Your Spirit woos me back from distraction I will start again, and again tomorrow, and still the next day, and still the next, and again, and again. And though 10 years from now I will have barely grasped a cupful of the infinite ocean that is called “the knowledge of God”, I will, by Your Grace, possess Living Water more than I have today. And therein, I find Wisdom.

1 comment:

  1. That is beautiful, Sarah. For the last several days I've been visualizing God's knowledge and wisdom settling on me as a process of distilling. (Deuteronomy 32:1-2). It's a long process to receive spiritual nourishment like dew from heaven. It's also often hard to recognize it for what it is.