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One of my favorite scriptures.  Although I find Proverbs difficult to sit down and read (where is the narrative arc?), there are so many words of wisdom in that particular book.




Knowledge and wisdom.  They aren’t quite the same thing although I was probably a teen when I figured this out.

That was when my friends and I started playing role playing games. We’d have to create a character to use in a series of adventures.  We had to note how high, or low, our character was in a variety of traits including both intelligence/knowledge and wisdom.

It was the first time in my life that I realized that you could have one without the other.  As an adult, I realized that this wasn’t just true of games but life as well. When I worked in an academic department at the university, there was no doubt that the professors I worked with were all very intelligent. They’d earned PhDs in a wide variety of topics and published papers and books.  These people were smart.

But wisdom?  That wasn’t something all of them could claim. This was obvious as I one professor drug me down the hall to count the floor tiles in another professor’s office.  Who had the most space?  A wise person would not there were differences and let it roll.  A smart person?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  They also had to be wise.

One professor in particular was both.  He had degrees in divinity and anthropology.  He had been a minister with his own church.  He had also worked with Vietnamese Buddhist refugees in Hawaii and Texas as well as Buddhists in Thailand.  He was a man who could note the facts, get down to what mattered and let the rest go.

Intelligence and wisdom.  They are both gifts from God.



A little piece of advice…

If you’ve been reading the meme’s that I’ve posted throughout the week, you’ve seen that quite a few of them have to do with patience.  When I first saw these Lenten quotes about patience I was a bit . . . what?  What does patience have to do with Lent?

The more I think about it, the more that I realize that patience is a huge part of Lent.

Lent is all about awaiting the coming dawn.  Waiting, to put it simply, is not my strong suit.  I want it now.  No really.  NOW would be better than later.

But that isn’t always the case.  Waiting and patience give us time for preparation.  Preparation can make the difference between success and a failure.  I know this, but I’m still not very good at waiting.

Lent is also a time of turning into the light.  It is a time for us to remove what stands between us and God’s light.  It is a time of helping us remove what keeps other people from seeing God’s light in us.

Quite often that requires patience.  Patience to take care of what ever it is in us that keeps us from being Christ’s hands on earth.  Patience to listen to what the other person has to say, because until we know what is in their hears and their minds, we very often have no clue what they need.

Patience.  It is a key part of empathy.

Patience.  It is most truly something that I need today.



In advertising, it’s always important to remember the law of supply and demand.  In religion, truth is the product, and supplies are, apparently, unlimited.

There are so many different brands of “the truth” that anyone seeking wisdom would be hard-pressed to separate the wheat from the chaff.  If there was a Library of Great Wisdom, what books would be housed there?

Since I don’t belong to a specific religion, I think I’m exempt from being sacrilegious, so forgive me my brash theories:  maybe it’s possible that great wisdom was parsed out in parcels to every major religious leader, and that each “holy book” has at least modest amounts of spiritual nutrients designed to feed the starving soul.

But aren’t there also passages in holy books that incite violence or foment unrest?

In New York City right now, Representative Peter King has convened a McCarthy Hearing of sorts, ostensibly to root out Muslim extremism; actually, it’s an un-American indictment of everyone practicing Islam.  Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, a Muslim, was called to testify – in a way, to justify his own beliefs.  Bill Maher interviewed Ellison later, and Maher said that he feels that the Koran is a hate-filled holy book.

Most of the value of holy books comes from the importance we ascribe to them, and if we’re so inclined to receive a good word, we can find encouragement from any holy book.  By the same token, if you are inclined to believe in vengeance and destruction, you will also find what you’re looking for in almost any holy book.  It’s not so much that the words are taken out of context, but that they resonate differently, since all of life leads toward death in the mind of an extremist.

I’m not sure there is one holy book that contains all of the secrets of life, so I say, take what you can from all of the great writings and discard the rest.  Find truth along the path of life, and allow for the fact that other people have their own opinions.  In this Library of Great Wisdom, all are welcome, and no one is ever turned away.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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