Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wisdom

When I was 13, I heard the story about a man who was just coronated king and God offered to grant him one desire. The new king asked for wisdom. God was pleased that the new king could have asked for anything--power, wealth, success--but he asked for wisdom instead. I was intrigued by the story, wondering what I would have asked for if God told me that He would give me whatever I wished.

The more I thought about it, the more I wanted what the young king had. I didn't want to just be smart. I wanted to know how to live well--to know how to say just the right thing or do the right thing at the right time. But more than that, I wanted to know how it felt to have God delight in me.

So, I asked Him for wisdom. And I waited for a few minutes for a special spiritual experience. There wasn't any. I didn't feel any smarter, either. But for the next few years, I struggled. I wanted to die, I felt so sad and angry. Yet I do believe God answered my prayer. It was an interesting way that He did it.

First of all, I noticed something about me. I was selfish. In my heart of hearts, I really didn't care. Second of all, I started to see that this was wrong, although I wasn't ready to change. Finally, I began to feel fearful and guilty that I had no inclination for loving anybody, even myself.


At this point, it became obvious to me that anyone who couldn't change herself to give damn even when she thought it was right probably doesn't know much about life nor death. Who was I to think I knew all the answers? In other words, to quote a famous movie title, what the &#@% did I know? And with that realization, I was open to finding the answers, no matter what it took.

Not long after, I began to appreciate all that I was hearing about Jesus. He was compassionate. He loved people, especially the poor, oppressed and outcast. When a hooker washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair, He allowed it. He was all that I wanted to be but wasn't. And without reason that I could see at the time, He died a horrible death that He predicted but would not prevent even though He could have. He suffered on the cross for His friends. The unemployed fishermen, the losers, the prostitutes and the crazy.

Nothing about Him would have made sense if I failed to conclude that He was God. I didn't know much, but that much I knew. And it was enough. I wanted to be His friend. He laid down His life for me because my sin kept me from what I wanted most. God's pleasure.

And that is the wisdom He wanted me to have. God's foolishness is beyond all the wisdom of men.

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