I recently experienced weeks of a being in a rut, unclear about what direction I needed to take in my life. Each day I felt like a rat running in circles in a maze of brick walls. I finally surrendered.
In my surrendered state I heard a quiet whisper within that said, “seek wisdom“. I paid attention to this wisdom which instructed me to take more walks. Each day I walked, and walked, and walked again. I noticed violet and ruby flowers blooming in my neighborhood, blossoms I never noticed before. I heard sweet songs of birds, each singing a unique melody rising from treetops. The sky changed each day from azure to gray, to pastel blue streaked with pink tones and long streaks of white. One day, clarity emerged from a sea of my inner silence. I knew what I was to do next.
I’ve hit walls in other areas of my life in the past where surrendering seemed the only option: troubled relationships, career directions, and when I wanted to move to a new location. When we’re stuck in muddy ditches of such conundrums, surrendering is the best beginning.
But I discovered there’s more to surrender. In relinquished states, wisdom has room to spread wings. Wisdom whispers unexpected insights, new ideas, and fresh perspectives. She is like a wise grandma, an ancient source of comfort, directing us to peaceful solutions and wholesome solutions.
When I wanted to move to a new location from a small mountain town in Oregon, where, suffocated between green, wet hills, I longed for a city and beach, wisdom gave me the patience I needed to wait for the right time to make the steps needed to make the move. Wisdom then paved the way for my family to move San Diego, where for many years I found a sense of home I hadn’t had since my early childhood years on Long Island. The move brought me what I needed: a great high school for my son, a community of families, both a sense of city and suburban life, walks down sandy shores, and big wide skies. We landed in a suburban, family neighborhood that reminded me of my childhood years frolicking on Long Island streets on summer nights, catching lighting bugs in glass jars, running toward the ding-a-lings of the ice cream truck bells, yearning for the sweet taste of melting creamsicles. Taking the Coaster down to the heart of the San Diego for city nightlife brought back fond memories of adventures to Broadway shows in New York City with grandma. Wisdom led me to my hearts desire, a path to a home.
A magnificent poem in Proverbs 8 tells us that wisdom was the first of God’s work, formed ages ago “at the very beginning, when the earth came to be” — before oceans and springs, before mountains and hills, and fields, clouds and humankind, wisdom stood “filled with delight day after day“.
Wisdom, Sophia in Greek, is with God from the beginning. She precedes all of creation! Who else would know best to lift the burden of my lack of direction, but the one who was with God as creation was formed. She was there when God deemed it ‘all good’, she is the one who knows best the rhymes and reason of creation’s splendor, the secrets of our destiny and God’s unfolding vision for the purpose of our lives. How often she’s forgotten in the retelling of the creation story.
Wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. She shines like a diamond in the rough, bringing peace and prosperity, guidance and protection, she’s the one who shouts out in the streets:
Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
and make you wise. – Proverbs 1:20-23
Do we hear her?
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who get’s understanding..She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. – Proverbs 3:13-18
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.– Proverbs 4:6
Are you struggling with an issue, a decision, a need? Listen for her promises, follow her ways!
Ironically, my scripture reading this morning was from James 1 that spoke boldly about simply asking God when we need wisdom.
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.-James 1:5
Yet, James also tells us that when we ask for wisdom, we “must believe and not doubt”, because doubt is “like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind”, unstable, double-minded, and unreceptive to promised gifts.
So believe, and not doubt, and “it will be given to you” – believe, and receive the peace-giving, enriching, authentic, without fault, promises of wisdom! She’s like nectar dripping through our minds, bodies and souls, receive her, she’s merciful and sincere, and scripture says she “holds no blame”. She’s kind to us when we blame ourselves, when we feel insufficient, incapable, insecure. When we’re directionless.
The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.– James 3:17
I find the greatest wonderment of wisdom in the New Testament that tells us it is Christ “who has become for us wisdom from God” (Corinthians 1:30), and that it is in “Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom”.(Col 2:3)
My lack of direction wasn’t, after all, the issue. The issue was that in relying on my own will, my own need to find clarity for the next steps in my life, I not only stewed in endless frustration, I missed the treasures of Christ’s heart — the unfolding gems of wisdom doing her organic, fruitful work to guide me in the way I should go. I had missed the loving, superior way of living as a branch on Christ’s vine, well-nourished by wisdom’s ways, at peace, trusting, knowing, following, surrendered, listening for the still silent voice within that would soon say, “go this way”.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.” Proverbs 4:89
The one who gets wisdom loves life. – Proverbs 19:8