Waves: an image from James.

We agreed to ask God for wisdom. We were doing what James said to do. As we sat in a room, reading the words of James, we decided to take them at face value and ask God for wisdom.

And then we walked out of the room on Wednesday evening, straight into our lives. In our lives are problems. In our lives are conversations and confrontations. In our lives are unexpected opportunities and unexpected crises. In our lives are planned journeys and unplanned detours.

In our lives is life.

Some days we remember to start the day with a request to God for wisdom. Sometimes this feels like a drive-thru order for coffee with an order of wisdom on the side. Sometimes this feels like pounding a desk with five piles of expectations and a half-pile of time. Seldom is it a quiet hour of contemplative conversation and tea with the creator.

walking on water - azureMany days, however, we find ourselves at noon with waves of veiled accusation and self-condemnation sweeping across our hearts. We tilt our head back to get our nose above the surface and think, “I haven’t looked to heaven.” In that moment of realization that wisdom was offered upon request, as the next wave crashes down we ask, “God, what do I do?”

Suddenly a thought we hadn’t thought of. A faint thread of light weaving through the mounds of water. And then this choice: Follow the thought as wisdom from God, wherever it leads, or look for second opinions, more data.

James suggests that a way out of the waves is to trust the thought as wisdom from God and act.

I realize the risk. What if we are wrong? Aren’t ideas often our rationalizations?

But doubting often leaves us in the waves, drifting everywhere, anchored nowhere.

 

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

One thought on “Waves: an image from James.

  1. Regarding the last sentence: In a storm there are two kinds of “anchor” problems–no anchor at all, or being anchored in the wrong place. My brother was a naval officer…in a big storm, they got ships out of port.

    Is it possible that the waves are God’s way of telling us we’re tied to the wrong things and maybe we need to let go?

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