Reading this article is the first day of the rest of your life. You didn’t realize it but one day you’ll look back on this HTML formatted text and think of the fine memories you made hitting refresh, watching it and scanning through until you got bored.
So… if I started every blog post like that, you’d probably stop reading. In fact you may think I seriously over estimate the importance of these 400 some words.
That’s sort of how I felt attending a high school graduation last May.
Is that harsh?
I mean, if you’re over 20 and you go to a high school or even college graduation, you may, like me, think the speeches are kind of funny.
Most common phrases are:
“Merriam Webster defines [insert inspirational word here] as….”
“This is the beginning of the rest of our lives…”
“We’ll always remember these moments….”
I laugh because I think, as much as I value my education, high school was kind of a blip on the big picture of my life. I mean there’s all these other, bigger moments. Getting my dream job at the church. Opportunities to see and do amazing things in ministry. My wedding. The day we found out we were pregnant. The birth of both our kids. Countless others. So when I hear these larger the life statements, I think, “just wait”.
So what’s my point? Well this month in 252 we’re talking about Wisdom and it’s teaching me something.
I think we tend to find high school speeches slightly amusing because we realize that we know more now than we did then. We’re wiser.
But the truth is, no matter how old you are, as “wise” as you may feel listening to a graduate, an older version of you would look at you now, the same way you look at the graduate. Let me explain that again.
I remember feeling wise when I was a graduate but now I think, “I had no idea what was in store.” But when I’m older won’t I think the same thing? Won’t I consider all the things I “know” now, incomplete? Not only that, but from a Christian worldview, it doesn’t matter how old you are, on the other side of eternity you’ll think, “I had no idea what was in store.” So what does that mean?
This Sunday we talked to the kids about a verse, Luke 2:52 that talks about how even Jesus grew in wisdom. See I think Wisdom is a journey. Even Jesus had to grow in it and even as I listen to someone a few steps behind me, I need to grow as well. It’s a journey. There’s another verse that comes to my mind.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Beginning, as in it isn’t a destination, it’s a process. I’m not gonna reach a point where I suddenly have all the answers. But the place to start is a fear of the Lord.
See the thing that ties a wise graduate to a wise retiree is a realization that wisdom starts in simple humility. The truth about Wisdom is, if I want to be wise I need to understand it doesn’t start with experience. Sure that’s great, but the truth is I can have experience and still be foolish. The truth is in those moments at a graduation, I’m seeing a glimpse of growth in me, the trick is remembering, it’s not finished. I think wisdom starts with the humility to know, that I’m still learning and God is the only one with all the answers. Or in a bite size version: I’m still growing and only God is all-knowing.