In college I had the privilege on several different occasions to sing in travelling music groups. They ranged in size from 3 to 90. It was fun to travel to different churches and get to know different people. I’m the kind of guy that likes a change in scenery from time to time, so being in a travelling group was great for that.
The only downside to being in a group like this is that you typically learn a concert’s worth of songs and then go out and perform the same concert every single weekend. You learn all the songs, tell all the same stories and jokes. Of course it’s the first time this specific place has heard it, but for you it’s the umpteenth time.
When you perform the same thing over and over and over again, this amazing thing happens. You are able to think about other things while you’re performing. It wouldn’t have been unlikely for one of us to be on stage thinking about homework during one of our concerts. Of course, we were encouraged not to to do this, but sometimes it just happens.
I’m sure the same thing has happened to you while driving. Have you ever had to drive the same road over and over and over again? Have you ever driven a road so much that you find yourself almost waking up to realize you don’t remember the last several minutes of your drive? That’s the concept for today’s proverb.
Not in the boring way that you may be thinking. That’s not the goal, to be bored with wisdom. Instead, the goal is to have such a deep understanding of wisdom that we are able to live and make wise decisions for our lives without even thinking about it. Hopefully, we will saturate our minds with wisdom and wise thinking to the point that when we are squeezed it is wisdom that comes out.
1 My child, if you receive my words,
and store up my commands within you,
2 by making your ear attentive to wisdom,
and by turning your heart to understanding,
3 indeed, if you call out for discernment—
raise your voice for understanding—
4 if you seek it like silver,
and search for it like hidden treasure,
Instead it seems that the opposite is true. The things that we have been warned about are the things we spend our time doing. The things we know we shouldn’t do are the things that fill our days. They may not be the vilest offenders, but they also aren’t the best decision. Choosing to spend the entire morning watching daytime TV isn’t the best use of my time, but how many times have gotten to lunch-time and have nothing to show for my morning besides knowing how much to bid on an elliptical trainer?
What if we sought to store up the commands of wisdom within us? What if our ears were listening for wisdom as opposed to gossip? What if our heart was turned on by understanding instead of the ways of this world? What if we called out for discernment and understanding? And what if we sought after it all like it was treasure? What if we looked for it like we would look for hidden treasure?
I imagine our lives would look much different. And I don’t think it would just be our lives, don’t you remember that line from “It’s a Wonderful Life?” AS2, Clarence Oddbody tells George: “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
While we may physically exist in the world, are we present in it? Your life touches so many others, and when you’re not around you leave a hole. You may not feel like you do, but you do. Think of the impact you could have in the lives of those around you if you were so full of wisdom, that whenever you were pressed for advice, it would be wisdom that came out?
That’s why wisdom is so important, it’s not just for you – it’s for all those around you.