Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;
Beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out:
‘To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live…”
Wisdom, the Proverb tells us, is inextricably embedded in the creative energy which formed all that is known and so much that is beyond our knowing.
It is everywhere and available, waiting to be discovered.
Sometimes, wisdom is gleaned through intentional work and earnest seeking, by entering life’s questions as an explorer in a new world, eyes, mind, and heart, wide open, ready to receive.
Other times, (and these are usually the times when wisdom’s lessons really stick for me),
wisdom comes as we are picking ourselves up off the ground after having stumbled due to our own lack of awareness or carelessness.
In these moments, wisdom’s offerings come readily if we will take the time to ask the questions:
What did I stumble over?
What caused me not to see what was there?
Why did it cause me to fall?
Will I now choose to remember this lesson, so as not to repeat it?
Richard Rohr offers these thoughts regarding wisdom’s path:
We all want to love, but as a rule we don’t know how to love rightly.
How should we love so that life will really come from it?
I believe that what we all need is wisdom.
I’m very disappointed that we in the Church have passed on so little wisdom.
Often the only thing we’ve taught people is to think that they’re right—or that they’re wrong.
We’ve either mandated things or forbidden them. But we haven’t helped people to enter upon the narrow and dangerous path of true wisdom.
On wisdom’s path we take the risk of making mistakes.
On this path we take the risk of being wrong. That’s how wisdom is gained.
Jesus came to teach us the way of wisdom.
He brought us a message that offers to liberate us from both the lies of the world
and the lies lodged in ourselves.
As one who learns by mistake more often than I care to admit,
I appreciate Father Rohr’s revisioning of growing in wisdom.
We need not view mistakes as reasons to belittle ourselves, but instead embrace them as necessary guides on our path to growing in wisdom’s grace.
Guides which offer what we need, if we are willing to receive.
Therein is grace for our journey.
To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live…
In a world that is stumbling in the darkness searching for and seeking light,
our answering wisdom’s call is needed and necessary work.
Perhaps our answer can begin with these questions:
What is this moment trying to teach me?
What lesson is present now, that I need to learn?
Followed by the most clarifying, world and life transforming question of all…
Will I now choose to learn this lesson, so as not to repeat it?
Yes, Father Rohr, a narrow and dangerous path indeed.
Answering the call with you and thankful for you,
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go (Crossroad Publishing: 1991, 2003), 68, 70, 75