Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Lessons in humility, wisdom and expression
Once again, the best I can come up with is a sampling of items I've read in the past day or two that I saved and have revisited for insight and inspiration. And maybe that's not so bad. From April 10 Denison Forum (denisonforum.org), about how more information than ever is available to people today, but it doesn't seem to translate to more wisdom: What's the solution? The man who was "wiser than any other man" (1 Kings 4:31) knew: "The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor" (Proverbs 15:33). Jesus, the One who is the very "wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24), testified: "The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing" (John 5:19). Here's the equation: Humility + submission = wisdom. From a 12 Step meeting on Wednesday, reading from Chapter 7, about the seventh step -- "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings" -- in the Alcoholics Anonymous "Twelve Steps and Twelve Tradition," on Page 76: "Each of us would like to live at peace with himself and his fellows. We would like to be assured that the grace of God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We have seen that character defects based upon shortsighted or unworthy desires are the obstacles that block our path toward these objectives. ... The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear -- primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. ... Therefore, no peace was to be had unless we could find a means of reducing these demands. ... The Seventh Step is where we make the change in our attitude which permits us, with humility as our guide, to move out from ourselves toward others and toward God." (I do have to remind myself that the steps are in order, and this may or may not make sense without the context of the rest of the 12 Steps.) This was from April 3 in the daily readings I do from Bible Gateway (after reading Numbers 7:89): We often wish God would speak to us more clearly. Sometimes, though, we have to obey what we have already heard from God. Doing so may put us in a place to better hear from God. Is there a place in your life where you need to listen by obeying first? If you feel stuck, maybe God is calling you to step out. If you feel scared by that, talk about it with someone. It may be the area of faith God wants to build in you! From My Utmost for His Highest, March 29 (Luke 12:40): "A Christian worker’s greatest need is a readiness to face Jesus Christ at any and every turn. ... The greatest need is not facing our beliefs or doctrines, or even facing the question of whether or not we are of any use to Him, but the need is to face Him. ... He appears where we least expect Him, and always in the most illogical situations. The only way a servant can remain true to God is to be ready for the Lord’s surprise visits. This readiness will not be brought about by service, but through intense spiritual reality, expecting Jesus Christ at every turn. This sense of expectation will give our life the attitude of childlike wonder He wants it to have." And finally, this one is from a Wall Street Journal article about classic rock and blues guitarist Eric Clapton, who mentioned that his current tour may be his last. (The whole article is worth reading; it's at http://on.wsj.com/10NSBUC.) "There's a desire in me to express something -- to match what I hear in my head. As long as I can come close to it, I'll continue." That quote says better than I can why I keep trying to do this blog each week. The desire to express something -- something inside of my head or heart or soul. I seldom come anywhere close to succeeding, but so far, I can't help but continue. And somehow, even as I fall short in expressing what's inside, I often stumble on some insight that helps me, and for that I am grateful.