When Solomon took the throne as king of Israel, he asked God for only one thing—wisdom. And God granted him that gift.
Wisdom gave Solomon the insight to resolve a feud between two women claiming to be the mother of the same child. Solomon commanded the child be cut in half and shared between the two. One woman immediately protested, insisting the other be given the child instead. Solomon declared the protester the true mother because she put the needs of the child first.
So, what is wisdom? And how do we obtain it?
Psychologists say that wisdom involves an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding. It incorporates tolerance for uncertainty and an ability to endure life’s ups and downs. There’s an awareness, an inner knowing, of how things might play out and unfold positively over time. Wisdom confers a sense of balance. It includes the ability to see the big picture. It requires patient introspection for its development.
Spiritually, wisdom is something we’re hard-wired with when we’re born. God infuses each of our human hearts with Divine DNA. And when we open ourselves to the Creator’s insight, wisdom becomes the Global Positioning System (GPS) that guides each step of our life’s journey. As a result, we become Wisdom-Keepers—people steeped with God’s compassion, direction, and guidance.
We click on our Wisdom-GPS by taking time for quiet reflection. As we sit in meditation, we connect with our heart-space and discover the inner place where wisdom resides. In solitude, we’re able to stop, listen, and ask God for help. We’re able to seek Divine Insight for life’s tasks.
French priest, scientist, and philosopher Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) says we’re co-creators with God. We’re uniquely designed to work alongside the Divine, co-creating more love and beauty in the world. And when we lean into God, we cultivate wisdom. We gain Divine understanding about how to live our lives with freedom and compassion. We learn our purpose.
But, when we try to go it alone without seeking the Creator’s input, it’s like trying try to fly solo without a copilot to help us read the control panel, gauge the weather, and keep an eye on the plane’s GPS system. As a result, we often tailspin or free-fall.
Several years ago, after my wife and I launched our children and became empty-nesters, I wanted to mark this passage in life. As I sat in church one Sunday and listened to the story of Solomon and his prayer for wisdom, it dawned on me that was what I wanted to navigate the second half of life—God’s wisdom.
So, I made an appointment at the local tattoo parlor and emerged with a small tattoo of the Chinese symbol for wisdom traced on my ankle. It’s one way I ask God for his guidance. Each time I touch my ankle, I’m reminded that I’m a co-creator with God and I need his sage advice to navigate life because flying solo doesn’t work out too well.
Each of us is called to be a Wisdom-Keeper; to embrace our inner Divine DNA; to tend and cultivate wisdom by sitting alone with the Creator and asking him to inspire us, guide us, and show us the way home.
Jesus and most other ancient spiritual teachers engaged in meditation as a daily practice. And I’d bet Solomon spent a good deal of time listening for the still, small voice of God whispering in his heart. That still, small voice helped him know how to resolve the dispute between the feuding women.
Like Solomon, wisdom teaches us the simple, yet important, things about life. Things like:
· We’re created by a loving God to be love in the world.
· If we don’t push the river, but instead let life unfold as we listen and follow God’s nudges, things often turn out much better than we could have planned.
· People are not a disruption to our lives; they’re the embodiment of the Creator’s love in all our human frailty.
· When I’m compassionate with myself, I stop judging myself and others. I accept us as we are—perfectly human.
What would the world look like if each person spent daily quiet time seeking God’s sage advice and wisdom? What would our lives look like if we cultivated our Wisdom-GPS and claimed the gift of being Wisdom-Keepers?
Perhaps being Divinely-guided, we’d pass that wisdom onto the next generation as did the wise sages who went before us. It might be the start of something very old and very new.
—brian j plachta
If you’d like to dive deeper,
click on this link
to experience a guided walking meditation.