Our age, more than the generations before is marked by obsolescence, expiry dates, and trends. Our food comes with a date to let us know how long it is safe. Computers, devices we use to hear music, take pictures, and communicate with others follow trends that are as distinct as any fashion trend. Everything seems bound by a conspiracy of obsolescence; business books using trendy jargon, housing designs, interior decorations, transportation, the list is endless. Anything we use in our lives seems to fade quickly, requiring one to always be on the lookout for a replacement.
While the observation is true in your life and mine, I do find an exception. Wisdom words last forever. Wisdom effortlessly crosses generations, cultures, and genders. They never expire, go bad, or lose their power. When we hear wisdom, we know it to be true. Our hearts, minds, and even our bodies grow stronger as we reflect on the meaning, purpose, and use of the words of wisdom.
I find myself reflecting on the gifts of wisdom that have come into my life. The following three points continue to echo in the reflection.
First, while wisdom ultimately shares a common source, it is delivered by an incredible range and diversity of sources and circumstances. Believers and unbelievers are sources of wisdom. Circumstances of fantastic highs, extreme lows, and boringly ordinary all contain threads of wisdom.
Second, while wisdom is priceless, hording it only decreases its value. Wisdom flies in the face of the theory of supply and demand. Wisdom grows in value when more members of our community are able to hold it within their hearts.
Third, opening one’s heart to wisdom allows you to see new places with insights and opportunities. Wisdom is one of the keys to change and making the world a better place.
When Peter “remembered Jesus’ words: ‘John baptized with water; you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit,’” (Acts 11.16) in the context of a single moment, the world changed. Wisdom can do that in your life and mine – today, in this moment.