Wisdom: Engaging the study
The best teachers remain students. They teach what is new and fresh, not old and stale. Teachers who keep studying have students who feel that they are engaging. The attitude of a wise teacher is one of student rather than just mentor or instructor. Teachers who are studying and learning new things are more engaged with their students because these teachers are fellow students.
A wise teacher knows that there is always something more to learn. Wisdom is never satisfied with the status quo; she questions everything and seeks to understand what others take for granted. And the study of wisdom is ongoing. Connecting the dots about our universe and our place in it is a study we could never exhaust.
Your continuing study of wisdom will involve the relationship between fear and resistance. It will involve connecting the dots between responsibility and blame. It will involve the relationship between your powerlessness (weakness) and your Higher Power.
Your lessons in wisdom will entail the study of awareness: Your personal and conscious contact with your Higher Power. You will need to learn the difference between what is fantasy and what is reality. The wise person knows the difference between illusion and truth. Wisdom will attempt to peel back the layers of misconception and confusion about our emotional lives.
The pursuit of wisdom entails making a long list of things (your personal inventory). It means that you accept your own humanity and God’s Divinity. The wise person knows the proper relationship between creature and Creator; the creature asks for grace and the Creator gives it. It is a wise person who knows his/her limitations and has learned to depend on God for the things that are out of reach.
The student of wisdom is seeking to shed more light on our darkness. Every lie and every half-truth must be revealed. The student of wisdom seeks to remove the smoke and mirrors that surround us and pierce through the darkness by shedding the light of truth.
The wise person knows that we are not autonomous; in and of ourselves we are incomplete. There is a “God-shaped hole” in every human, and we try to fill it with all kinds of substitutes that just don’t cut it. The fool looks for love in all the wrong places, and never reaches the destination.
The wise person is never satisfied with simplistic answers to complicated questions. Wisdom patiently untangles the knots that bind and hold us back. Wisdom doesn’t give up if the answer doesn’t come immediately. Patience is necessary when an addict is seeking to work through the 12 Steps and break the bonds of addiction. Shame is something that repeatedly comes up in my experience and tempts me to return to the addiction. The patience of wisdom knows the difference between “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things I can.”
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man…”
Tomorrow’s topic – Purpose: Practicing the Presence of Joy