A lifelong pursuit.

My son, if you receive my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5

It’s one thing to look for counsel. Counsel starts with a problem and asks for a solution. It starts with a situation and asks for alternatives. Counsel is time-constrained.

It’s a different thing to look for wisdom, to look for a way of living. According to one writer, the pursuit of wisdom, and its siblings, insight and understanding, is a quest. It includes taking the input of those you respect for their wisdom. It involves paying attention to what is said around you. The quest means engaging your heart, responding to what is emotionally true as well as intellectually.

And the quest for wisdom involves humility, the humility of raising your hand and asking for an explanation. While there are foolish questions, it is not foolish to ask questions. And apparently, wisdom can be sought with the same passion a miner creates deep holes and a treasure hunter risks high seas and dangerous currents.

Counsel, once found, is acted upon. Wisdom, when acquired, guides action and thought. Not for an event or a choice, but for all choices, and all events. Wisdom even guides which events.

But it has to be sought and learned. With diligence and observation (and occasional failures) we learn frameworks for sorting valuable from irrelevant and invaluable. We treasure the words and relationships that bring wholeness and holiness.

And we keep seeking and obeying.

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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.