Live and Learn
Live and learn. So goes the saying which suggests that life and learning are connected. We might also say, to live is to learn.
In practice, people today often act as if they have little to learn. Or, at the least, many people are only willing to learn about things they agree with. If an idea does not fit into a their preconceived notions of right and wrong, then they will refute and dismiss that idea. And this happens in practically every venue of life from faith to politics, from business to recreation, from morality to – believe it or not – statistics. (Just pay attention to how folks use numbers to justify their opinions!)
Yet, here’s the truth: learning is an ongoing part of life that pushes us beyond the boundaries of what we already know, of what is comfortable and familiar. And this is why scripture so often speaks of God as the essence or source of wisdom. God and wisdom are connected in scripture. Both are beyond complete human comprehension. As we seek wisdom, we seek God because God created and established wisdom, because God is wisdom (see Job 28). In Proverbs, God’s wisdom is even personified as a woman named Sophia (Lady Wisdom) who is God’s partner and who calls us to search for her (Proverbs 8).
How do you search for wisdom? How do you search for God?
To do so means to view your life as an ongoing journey of learning, of being pushed beyond the bounds of your current understanding towards the wisdom of God, the divine which is beyond you. Live and learn is a recognition that you do not know it all and that there is something beyond your present understanding. And admitting this truth is the beginning of an authentic life of faith in God. Some would say it is the beginning of wisdom.
This week, we read a few more verses from Psalm 119, verses 33-40 (last week we read 1-8). As you might remember, this is an acrostic Psalm, meaning that its verses follow the pattern of the Hebrew alphabet. Every 8 verses is a new letter, and verse 33-40 all start with the letter het (a soft h sound). Take a look at these verses because they offer an authentic prayer for wisdom, for understanding and following God’s instructions and laws. I really love that the Psalmist is so honest and authentic in expressing his or her desire to know the ways of God so that he or she can follow them. Just take the first and last verses as an example:
God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course… See how hungry I am for your counsel!
Perhaps being hungry for God’s counsel is exactly what we need if we are to truly live and learn as we search for God through the wisdom of the one we call Christ.
January 17, 2018
January 16, 2018
January 10, 2018