Simple Wisdom

Simple Wisdom

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” Proverbs 9:10. 

If it is so simple, why is my life so complicated? Because I am not still, knowing God.  

Time is one of the things that seems to make me the most restless. The simplicity, minimalism, essentialism movements are very attractive to me because I long to slow down. I believe less is more, yet I continue to restlessly seek the new, the more.  I am not at peace unless I have Jesus and eternity with him in view. Dwelling in Jesus every minute every day, I begin to dwell in eternity now. I want to be free from struggling to cram a little of all my favorite things into every day . I want to always remember that I have eternity to create, explore, learn, love, but only have a few years to love and gather by the Spirit those around me to join me there.

The other thing that gets me restless is taking something I enjoy and turning it into a competition, a comparison between me and others. Do I reach the standard? Have I joined the “club”? 

I have been doing a lot of comparison lately.

First with the area of intellect. I had been reading about a very smart woman and how she could see through any flaws in logic. She and her husband were well acquainted with all the “classics.” It made me want to find out if I had reached her level.  I haven’t

I spent some time looking at whether or not I qualified as a polyglot. Maybe, but mostly I dabble.

And I read about bird life list counts to see if I was a “real” birder. No,  not so much.

My attempts to compare reduced my enjoyment and made me somewhat disappointed in myself. Comparing is worse than wasted effort: I am a worse me for it.

I will not necessarily be more understanding of others for reading the “right” books.  I know it didn’t help the intellectual woman and her husband with their friends and children. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else’s standard of intelligence is or their ideas of how to achieve that standard. My mind is not going to work better simply because I fill it with the “right” knowledge or tune it to “superior” tastes, although that wouldn’t be all bad. The list of must-read books is endless and I have such a late start on it. I still want to read some of them if I find time, but until then the Bible is enough for me.  There is peace.

I didn’t start watching birds to count them, I just wanted to know what I was seeing. I just watched the movie The Big Year  and read a Big Lister‘s story and heard a non-lister friend recount the antics of the birders when he happened to be instigate an event not forgotten in the birding world. These, combined with rechecking that I had more than enough birds  for my church’s youth club badge left me ready to forget listing. I can simply mark new birds in my bird guide and enjoy the wonder of  creation .  There is joy.

I know my interest in languages doesn’t make me a genius no matter what those who lack this interest seem to think. It is just fun for me. I didn’t start to study any of my languages to impress anyone.  Trying to make language maintenance and growth fit in my daily routine means doing Google searches and relaxing with Christian songs in my languages.  Suddenly the rest of the world feels less foreign and more like me, with the same curiosity and feelings about life.  It makes my spirit soar to join others worshipping Jesus in other languages from around the world.  They become family. There is love.

We should seek to understand God and the humans around us, how to live each day to its fullest, which is to God’s glory. Understanding what makes humans and their systems like governments and economies tick, is truly profound. Knowing how to help your neighbors, support your friends, guide your children, defuse your enemies, is the highest perception. Keeping your body subject to what your mind knows is healthy so your mind can grow in strength, that is reason. These are the things that the book of Proverbs is full of – how to deal with people, time, health, and money.

Why should I let any acknowledgement of my various accomplishments matter now? Psychologists have shown that rewarding children for activities they were simply enjoying made them need a reward to maintain their interest.  I choose peace, joy, and especially love. I didn’t create my talents and interests, so how can I take any glory from them? The glory belongs to God, but I can keep the peace, joy and love.

This is wisdom. Enough said.

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