by DanWolgemuth on November 19, 2010

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” ~ Proverbs 9:10 (ESV)

I have fantastic news for you. It’s news that could change your life… I heard it just a couple of days ago on 850KOA, our local radio news station. It was an advertisement that burst across the airwaves and filled every corner of my 2003 Subaru. At the outset the information was just background noise; the data registered, but just barely… that was until “the promise.”

The pitch was for a washing machine, an efficient washing machine, a washing machine that would provide enough savings in resource consumption that it would pay for itself in two or three years. The logic captured a portion of my conscious thought… but then the announcer proclaimed, “Buying this washing machine will be the wisest decision you’ll ever make!”

There it is. The promise of a lifetime. Not “a wise decision,” not “a smart thing to do,” not “worth the risk,” but “THE WISEST decision you’ll ever make!”

Wow, at 55 years old I’ve made a lot of decisions… and yes, I’ve made some wise ones. Certainly the landscape of my daily life is littered with foolishness, and impulsive and unwise decisions, but I don’t have to think long to land on wise decisions. But little did I know, the platform for making the wisest decision of my life was located in my laundry room.

Is it any wonder that promises have started to lose their luster? Have we become so accustomed to outrageous claims that we don’t even test the veracity of the commitment? Or is this promise a context that illustrates just how poorly we’ve made other decisions? Does it illuminate the trivial nature of my priority system?

Before each of you races out to your local appliance store…

“The fear of the Lord…” – this is our context for wisdom; the grid through which I test the considerations of my life.

In 1 Kings 3 we have a record of the dialog between Solomon and God. God’s invitation to Solomon was: “Ask what I shall give you.” The response of Solomon was: “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people that I may discern between good and evil…”

The door was open; the offer was out there; the request was perfect. Wisdom.

I’m afraid that wisdom is often absent from my prayer list. If it’s present, it’s a footnote, a modifier, an adverb.

What if a plea for wisdom dominated my prayer time? What if “God-imbued understanding” marked my path, my conversations, my decision making, my relationships?

No doubt I would make wise decisions about washing machines, but that would simply be the beginning and not the end of my wisdom continuum.

“Yes, dear Father, my reverence for you, my humility before you, my awe as I approach you propels me to a place where wisdom flows… where understanding pools in rich supply. I pray today for wisdom. Amen.”

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” ~ James 1:5

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