Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Letter to My Meeting on Wisdom

Hello Friends,

The last couple of days, I've been decompressing and analyzing as I'm sure many others have been doing themselves. As someone who works with the natural rhythms of the media, the presentation of news most often resembles a drought. However, as has been true in recent days, making sense of the flurry of passionate opinions is not unlike trying to drink from a fire hose. Eventually, everything calms down and the process starts over again. We wonder what will follow next and what will stir the hornet's nest once more. With time, we stop trying to predict, because we know it to be a fool's errand. There is no in between, no medium setting. It is either placid or combustible, and so long as people are involved, I know there never will be anything else.  

I thought I might share a thought or two that has been recently on my mind. In this day and age, honest wisdom appears to be difficult to find. Its ersatz, cheap, counterfeit version is on display everywhere, but sages and philosophers are nowhere to be found. Opinions are not necessarily wise or well-reasoned, even by people with good intentions. Few people actively seek wisdom and even fewer even know where to begin, should they flirt with taking up that mantle. It takes a kind of seasoned insight to see matters clearly and in their proper context. The trouble here is that people routinely overlook or unknowingly ignore the very advice and guidance they need most.
Wisdom comes through a constant process of growth, not unlike the maturation of a human being from birth to adulthood. Wisdom is both a God-given gift and an energetic search. But it is only given to those who earnestly seek it and take it on its own terms, not theirs. The pathway to wisdom is strenuous, but is richly rewarded for those who put themselves up to a challenge. People don't develop all aspects of wisdom at once. Each of us has blind spots, just as we are all created differently. Some people have more insight than discretion, others have more knowledge than common sense. But each facet can be developed and built up with faithful conduct.

Where does our emphasis fall as Friends? I rarely hear anyone invoking the word "wisdom" with any regularity. To some, it is some antiquated notion no longer taken seriously. I wish often that we placed more of an emphasis on wisdom rather than love. Love is what we need, but without insight, it's just a good idea.  Perhaps real wisdom has never been easy to locate, though we seem to know it when we see it. Knowledge alone is not wisdom. Rationalizations are not wisdom. Oft-repeated bumper sticker sloganeering is not wisdom. Trends and fashions are not wisdom. Once discovered, the human-made substitutes I've just mentioned lose their luster, wither away, and give way to truth.

God's blessing and hand in our life is like finding a single rose in a garden full of weeds and thorns. The reward is rich for the willing. Those who clear away distortion and disorder in their own lives will eventually find what they have been seeking most. Sometimes it is that simple. Sometimes is is that subtle.

In the Light,


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