Thursday, May 07, 2015

A Thought for Thursday 7 May 2015

“I directed my soul to Wisdom, and in purity I found Her.  With Her I gained understanding from the first; therefore I will never be forsaken.  My heart was stirred to seek Her; therefore I have gained a prize possession.”  Book of Sirach 51:20-21 (Ecclesiasticus), of the Apocrypha

Though the books of the so-called “Apocrypha” are not recognized as authoritative in much of the Protestant movement, there are nevertheless expressions of these authors’ spiritual journeys as well as some history.  Just as you or I could easily sit down and write out our thoughts and observations, prayers and desires, so did others.  Thankfully, these books have been preserved through the ages.

I have often wondered why these books are not more broadly accepted especially when in my own experiences with some of these books, I have found nothing that contradicts anything written in the Scriptures themselves.  Especially in the book of Sirach, the author plainly states so eloquently that Wisdom should be our highest goal (as in Proverbs).  True Wisdom imparted from Above rather than knowledge as we have come to understand as little more than a collection of facts.  Facts are of little use to us (except maybe in a game of Trivial Pursuit) if we do not know what to do with these facts, how to put them to good use.  As I have said so often in that particular game, I am a master of useless knowledge!

With Wisdom, however, we reach higher and think more broadly.  We begin to understand things in the wider and deeper realm, and we become hungry for more.  Why?  Because True Wisdom is a Divine Gift.  It is the “prize possession” above all others, in some ways perhaps the very source of faith itself.  It is in Wisdom by which we begin to understand more about The Lord, for in Wisdom we begin to understand more about the world around us; that very world we are to be “in” but not “of”.  Without Wisdom we would wander aimlessly; with Wisdom we become sojourners as Israel in the wilderness.  Going somewhere, accomplishing something with every step but being patient with each step.  Not merely existing but really living as we are meant to live.

As with The Lord, seek Wisdom while She may be found.  Allow The Lord to inspire and direct.  Only then will we learn to “get over ourselves” and reach higher.  Only with Wisdom can we understand our neighbors who do not look like we look, who do not act as we think they should act, who do not worship as we think they should worship.  Wisdom will help us to understand these “wanderers” so we may learn to relate to them and invite them to become fellow “sojourners”.  This is our highest aim, for this is the Great Commission of Christ our Lord.



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