Who is wise and understanding among you? let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom. James 3:13
I've been putting off addressing this portion of my New Year's Tenets because I honestly, am not entirely sure how to bring it to fruition. I know how to learn things, how to gain knowledge. I know how to research, aggregate and memorize. But wisdom, well I think we can all agree that wisdom is another beast altogether. To have more wisdom at the end of the year means nothing about learning more, spewing facts or or even spouting scripture complete with book, chapter and verse address intact (a feat which generally fails me. Text I can handle. Address? fuhgettaboutit. ). Wisdom means accumulating all my stored knowledge, experiences and emotions and combining them in the right way, at the right time and in the right amount. It also means I darn well better learn double quick how to really hear the Holy Spirit speak to me because there is no darn way I am going to accomplish even the first part of that on my own. Sometimes I can't remember the last name of my neighbors. Truth.
So I am a wee bit stumped how to go about breaking down gaining wisdom.
Obviously it isn't something that can be measured by books I read (shame, that. I can slam down some serious books). In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realize that this may be the most important of my four tenets integrating kindness, compassion, joy, gratitude, generosity, fasting, physical labor, spending, teaching, learning, speaking, creating, writing, relating to others, parenting, love-making and all the other facets of me into a glorious wholeness that reflects the One who made me in His image.
The last few months have provided me with an opportunity to make a response choice. I believe I have told my Hunky no less than twenty times: "I am not going to be the person I was then. I am going to be the person God wants me to be today." Perhaps that is the beginning of wisdom. It would be easy to fall into old behavior patterns. It's familiar to do what has already been done, but is it the person God is calling me to be? Which of course would be a thousand times easier if there were a pattern of behaviors that matched every possible set of circumstances. But there isn't. Jesus wasn't just a friend and healer (though He most certainly is those things), the man also braided a whip to be used against wickedness in His Father's house, lobbed verbal grenades at Pharisees, and cut to the quick of problems with a few well spoken Truths.
Wise does not equal nice. It does not equal doormat. It does not mean changing all of the facets of my personality which may have been used in ways that were less than God glorifying in the past.
It does mean being so close to mouth of God that I can hear it whisper to me moment by moment what words, actions, attitudes and prayers will unlock the Power that already resides within me.
I don't know how to become wiser except to start by listening ( theme overlap, much? ). There are two sure-fire ways I know to hear more clearly: The Word and prayer. So I am starting the new year making room and quiet for those two things: praying the hours and daily reading and meditation of Scripture.
I have such a very long way to go.