4/12/2012 8:09 PM
Solomon is known as the wisest man who ever lived. Quite a bit of his "wisdom" is published in the Bible. But what is wisdom? Why do we pursue it? I'll throw in a working definition to start with and see where that leads us: wisdom is putting knowledge and experience together to provide enrichment of life for others.
I read an article today about Scott Rolen, the Cincinnati Reds' third baseman. He is near the end of his career, and he is spending more time reflecting on things and really looking around him as he goes through this season. The writer of this article wondered aloud about the value of speaking to professional athletes, many of whom are so caught up in themselves that they never see the world around them. But Scott Rolen is apparently different. He wants to think about his experiences, to ponder what he can learn from them, to use them to enrich his own life and those of his family.
That got me thinking about writers, since this writer was apparently not interested in pursuing superstar tweets and other writers' rehashings of events. I think a good writer uses his/her experiences to make the story better, to make the connections for people or lead them to those connections, so they can experience, maybe in a different way, the same things the writer is experiencing.
So how is all of this relevant? I hope I am wiser now as I approach my 50’s. I have a lot more experiences which, I believe, coupled with knowledge, give one the opportunity for wisdom. And I hope I am able to impart some of that wisdom to others for their benefit. But I also know there are people my age who are not wise. We all get caught up in ourselves, just as those professional athletes. We all go blindly through some days, missing everything that God tosses out for us to see.
Scott Rolen, and the writer who followed him that day, were in search of the meaning of the day, not just for their own personal benefit, but to provide some insight for others. As we grow in faith, I think it should be our goal, even our responsibility, to collect information and to live, really live, our experiences. In this way we can begin to build a wisdom that can be a help to others. By truly living in our expereinces, maybe we can make the story better; maybe, like a good writer, we can provide and/or illuminate connections that allow others to experience life more abundantly. That's what Christ wished for us, isn't it? And, I would argue, if we aren't working to build wisdom to share with those following us, we are squandering the opportunities that God has given us to lead others to and with Him.
So what is the difference between a wise person and one who misses the boat? How do I become wise, in a proper sense of the word? What are you doing to make the story richer for others?