Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Pursuit of Wisdom
There was once a small boy who banged a drum all day and loved every moment of it. He would not be quiet, no matter what anyone else said or did. Various attempts were made to do something about the child.
One person told the boy that he would, if he continued to make so much noise, perforate his eardrums. This reasoning was too advanced for the child, who was neither a scientist nor a scholar.
A second person told him that drum beating was a sacred activity and should be carried out only on special occasions. The third person offered the neighbors plugs for their ears; a fourth gave the boy a book; a fifth gave the neighbors books that described a method of controlling anger through biofeedback; a sixth person gave the boy meditation exercises to make him placid and docile. None of these attempts worked.
Eventually, a wise person came along with an effective motivation. He looked at the situation, handed the child a hammer and chisel, and asked, "I wonder what's inside the drum?"
Ah, the wisdom of that man! It reminds me of the wisdom demonstrated by King Solomon when two women came to him fighting over which of them was the true mother of a baby (I Kings 3:16-28). Solomon was, of course, known for his great wisdom.
Solomon wrote, "Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her." (Prov. 3:13-15)
We need to understand, though, that knowledge and wisdom aren't the same thing. If you want to measure a person's knowledge, you give them a test. If they score 90 or above, they have a lot of knowledge. If they score below 50, there's not much knowledge there. But determining the measure of a person's wisdom is much more difficult. You have to look at how he lives and the decisions he makes.
James Draper has said, "Wisdom is the skill to live in a way that is pleasing to God. It is not simply information in our heads. It is information that we put to use -- where we live, where we work, and where we play."
We live in a world where everyone seeks knowledge. We value educaton. We read books. We watch news channels. But how many of us pursue wisdom to the same extent?
Be assured that wisdom is not something that you will stumble into by accident. It's a pursuit. It's a search. It requires an attitude that says, "I want to learn from God how to live, and I want to apply those principles to my life."
"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding." (Proverbs 4:7)