Ancient Wisdom, Post-Modern Longing Part 5

Rop tú mo chathscíath, rop tú mo chlaideb;rop tussu m’ordan, rop tussu m’airer.

Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word.

Wisdom is a big idea in scripture. It is nuanced and thick. It is multidimensional and disorienting (ironically). It is one of those ideas that is often best defined by what it is not. One of my favorite distinctions regarding Wisdom is: “Knowledge is understanding that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is understanding that it doesn’t belong in a fruit salad.”

“Knowledge is understanding that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is understanding that it doesn’t belong in a fruit salad.”

Wisdom is an ingredient that combines with facts to make truth beautiful and God honoring. Wisdom provides meaning to an otherwise useless fact. It’s not that facts are unimportant, but the unbeliever concerns himself with only facts. He stops there. Facts are the foundation upon which wisdom builds. Hence, apologetics is meaningful. But facts alone are without a means to reach God. Like the foundation of a huge tower, the facts reach deep into the ground and anchor the beautiful edifice in place. But what if the tower is never built? You have only an orderly hole in the ground. I tend to embrace the facts but all too frequently I stop before letting wisdom build the tower.

The facts are, AC3 is in a season of transition. Our foundation was laid 2,000 years ago. But what does Wisdom want to build?

Our tendency in post-modern church/business/organization/community culture is to get the facts (or dress-up opinions with some facti-ness) and as quickly as possible, build. But the results of this approach are showing it to be unwise. We don’t allow Wisdom enough time to do the work she is meant to do. We replace her power with our own because under our own power we can get the job done faster and cheaper. We like fast and cheap. Fast and cheap in structures that is decay quickly (unsustainable) and are unreliable.

Building Quickly

Jesus uses two building oriented parables to illustrate this. In Luke 14, Jesus admonishes his disciples to carefully consider the cost of following Him, just like a man would count the cost of building a tower. Wisdom would have us slow down, listen carefully to what God is intending to build, and only then decide if we’re willing to pay for it’s completion. By the way, Jesus estimates the cost at “everything you have” (verse 33). Wouldn’t it be wise to pause and really ask yourself if your willing to give everything?

Again, at the climax of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7) Jesus contrasts a wise man with a foolish man based on the foundation they choose: sand or rock. Wisdom sort of works backwards and plays a role in choosing the foundation materials. Wisdom might put a halt to the building project altogether if she finds the foundation is inadequate. This results in delays, cost-overuns, vendor complaints, sub-contractors get mad, market-share is lost and public image is tarnished. But because wisdom is in charge, we don’t lose sight of why we’re building in the first place, and therefore, all those challenges and set backs are worth it.

Count the Cost

We counted the cost and it appears to be “Everything”. Wisdom is in charge of the schedule and the design. We are simply called to provide the labor when the time comes. Until that time – Wisdom says: “Wait. Wait on the Lord. Have Courage and Wait.” Psalm 27:14

There’s more to explore about waiting for God’s timing with “Applications” online

Dan

56 year old husband of 29 years, father of two, drumming Gardner.