Exercising Your Wisdom Muscles

WISE: marked by deep understanding, keen discernment, and a capacity for sound judgment

Dear Son,

Sometimes I fear you are growing up too fast.  I see your growing awareness of the world’s problems and injustices and I want to slow time down a bit so you can savor the simplicity of days where your biggest challenge is lifting a heavy rock or pedaling fast enough to make it over the bumps in our sidewalk.

Other times, I fear you are growing up too slow.  The world is full of problems that need solving; problems that require fresh thinking and boldness.  The world needs more people with your combination of kindness, curiosity, persistence and creativity.

You are growing up in a world that equates wealth with worth, mistakes fame for character, and turns a blind eye to the means if the end is desirable enough.  It’s my job to show you another way – the way of wisdom.  Do you remember your baptism blessing?

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom….But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:13, 17-18)

Wealth and fame will not bring peace to our world, but wisdom just might.

I must warn you, wisdom isn’t easy.  Humility is hard.  Mercy is hard.  That is why I make you practice.

When you celebrate a win without arrogance, you are practicing humility.

When you apologize for wrongdoing to restore harmony, you are making peace.

When you offer forbearance and second chances to your sister, you are practicing mercy.

When you think about the preferences of your friends, you are being considerate.

Just like calves and biceps, your wisdom muscles grow stronger with use.  You are training and strengthening those muscles now so that they will grow.  If you keep practicing, you will have the wisdom to act with humility in the face of hubris, be able to empathize with enemies, and see opportunities for harmony in the midst of discord.

And that, my precious boy, is just what the world needs.

So, let your sister have a turn, apologize to Papa, and think about what Max would like for a birthday gift.  These are just small steps on the long climb to wisdom.




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