I heard Job’s voice echoing through today’s readings in Proverbs:
“Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?” Job 28:23
The question is answered:
“The fear of the Lord- that is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding.” Job 28:28
God’s wisdom is something I long for for everyday, but like the fool in Proverbs 7, I can be easily distracted and before I know it, I am off chasing mental rabbits. The prostitute on the corner is a good metaphor for what tempts. She offers immediate gratification and distracts from the emptiness all of us feel at one time or another. She steals true love, real life from us. Finding God’s wisdom is painstaking work; we have to dig deep, be honest and see our own frailties and brokenness in the process to receive what He has for us.
Too often, my temptress is busyness. If I pack my schedule tight, if I say yes to one more commitment, I get this short lived sense of self importance. I amazed at my ability to multitask until I find myself depleted and burned out. Distractions can be cheap and easy, but only temporarily. God wants so much more for us. Jesus came that we would have abundant life, not nail biting, stressed out life. I think of Jesus’s tender words to Martha:
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
The author of Proverbs 8 encourages a life of LISTENING to the voice of wisdom (note to self: less talking):
“Now my sons, LISTEN to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. LISTEN to my instructions and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who LISTENS to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me, finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 8:32-35.
Paul knew that the young church at Corinth had issues with listening to God and one another and instructed them to slow down and take care when meeting together. I wonder if they turned red with embarrassment or were able to laugh at themselves as they read Paul’s words:
“Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?” 1Corinthians 14:36
Lord, your word certainly didn’t begin with me. Forgive me when I act like anything, anyone other than you will satisfy the longings of my heart. Quiet my soul and help me to be still long enough to listen to you and follow your ways. Amen.