Thursday, April 07, 2011

Wisdom Begins in Wonder

photo by Crispin Schroeder

Wisdom Begins in Wonder

The journey of wisdom begins not with reductionism,
The breaking down of truth into its smallest components
Or beliefs crafted into bullet points to fire at those who might oppose. 
Wisdom begins in wonder. 

All the years I tried to gain understanding
Looking through the lens of a moral microscope,
Searching for a truth
That I could finally hold and control and call my own.
And yet the truth shunned my advances. 
Because wisdom begins in wonder.

I’d rehearsed all my lines, readied for the trial,
The script of sentences on my tongue,
To shine truth’s light on all the squint-eyed sinners.
Yet no sooner did I learn that in being right I could be so wrong.
For wisdom begins in wonder.

In moments of transcendence
When a melody rescues me from small thinking
In times when the beauty of a sunrise fills my heart with warmth
When I’ve stood by the ocean or on a mountainside
or gazed at the starry night sky
Or in the quiet when I have felt my life held
In the grip of a love incomprehensible
Only then, plunged into mystery and beauty,
In awe of the Holy,
Do I take my first shaky steps on the path of wisdom and understanding,
For wisdom begins in wonder.

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The above was inspired by some reflections on The Fear of the Lord.  I recently revisited Eugene Peterson's Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places where I found the following quotes:
  “The moment we find ourselves unexpectedly in the presence of the sacred, our first response is to stop in silence.  We do nothing.  We say nothing.  We fear to trespass inadvertently; we are afraid of saying something inappropriate.  Plunged into mystery we become still, we fall silent, all our senses alert.  This is the fear-of-the-Lord.” (P41)

1 comment:

steven hamilton said...

love it!! as abraham heschel once asked of God: "I want Wonder!"