Great and Unmatched Wisdom

Sometimes a day starts out normal until a nugget of wisdom bursts forth from the heavens. It might start with a profound statement during a conversation with a friend, a quote from a TED Talk, or a meme shared on social media. When we see it and recognize it for what it is, we must stop to ponder its worth, then seek ways to apply it to our life. (Before you push share, run it through Snopes to make sure, though.)

Rarely does great and unmatched wisdom come when expected. One who has such merit typically doesn’t just put it on display. Rather, they humbly use their gift for the benefit of others. Think of the wisest people through history who we are still quoting:

Confucius, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus, Winston Churchill, Maya Angelou, and King Solomon. If they had only had Twitter they could have changed the world even more radically. How many likes and retweets this gem from Socrates would have gotten?

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.

 

Wisdom is deliberate, not reactive. It is the patient application of experience, good judgment, and knowledge. It is also something you either have or you don’t; you can’t buy a wisdom development kit online and flex new wisdom in 30-60 days. In great men and women, wisdom isn’t flaunted, simply applied when necessary.

Often, such wisdom is the “behind-the-scenes type” that we’ll never see. It is the wise single mother somehow making ends meet or the small business owner keeping people employed when others would fold. The wisest people may not be leading in the polls, they may just be living life a little richer than the rest of us.

There was but one pearl of great and unmatched wisdom dispensed yesterday. It didn’t come from Twitter or Washington, DC, where wisdom tends to drown. No, it came from my dentist. He seems a humble man and I appreciate his desire to impart his wisdom on me because it will be used for my good (and now hopefully yours.)

Angelically framed by the bright light behind his head, he spoke behind a mask of brilliance proclaiming that I need to:

“continue to brush the teeth you want to keep.”

  Friends, that is great and unmatched wisdom we can all use.

The Open Door

Our cat is fascinated with doors. If one is closed, she sits staring at it or dig under it until it is opened. She may not see the room within as worthy of a visit once she can enter, but she wants the opportunity nonetheless. For us bipeds, what is it about open doors that stirs our curiosity? Who can walk down a hall of doors where most are closed and not peek inside the ones ajar? A hotel, office, hospital – wherever we are, we must look! What do we expect to find inside?

Don’t tell me you walk on focused with your eyes straight forward. I won’t believe you. I know you slow your pace slightly to get as much of a look as possible as you approach. Isn’t it awkward when you turn your head as you are walking past and end up looking face to face with someone whose expression is always, “why is this person staring at me?”

Uhhh, you left the door open!

When you were a kid, did you think of doors as some sort of portal with endless possibilities? Every door was a wardrobe that could take you to Narnia. Bugs Bunny cemented that feeling with the recurrent theme of being chased down a hall by coming and going through random doors completely out of time and sequence. The heart-shaped monster was my favorite chaser.

 

 

Heart monster

I heard a commotion in our den and opened the door of our bedroom recently to investigate. It was not a magic portal, but I did learn a lesson. One should always make sure they are fully dressed when exploring what may be beyond closed doors. That became a door one daughter wishes had remained closed and a memory her visitor wishes he could erase.

As I see it, there are a number of potential doors.

  • Closed doors that should remain closed
  • Closed doors that need to be opened
  • Locked doors with no hope of admittance
  • Locked doors to which we have the key
  • Doors sealed for our protection
  • Doors sealed for the protection of those inside
  • Open doors that we should enter
  • Open doors we should pass by

The list goes on, but you get my point. Life is a series of one door after another. When one comes to a life door, he or she should decide on the best and worse case scenarios before passing under the threshold. Count the cost, as it were. I currently find myself standing in front of an open door and I have yet to decide how great the cost of entry. It seems attractive, but I find myself somewhat intimidated by its potential. What I lack is discernment about this particular door, thus all of my musing about doors in general. And so, I sit at the frame and pray, think, and wonder what could be inside. It is daunting, but I remember James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

I need wisdom. Either that or a heart-shaped monster to chase me in or away.