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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true Word;
I ever with thee, and thou with me, Lord;
thou my soul’s shelter, and thou my high tower;
raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Mary E. Byrne’s “Be Thou My Vision”
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

Here she goes again. She is shouting in the street. She is raising her voice in public spaces. She is positioned at the busy intersection and above the noisy crowd she is calling out. Who is she? Her name is Wisdom, and according to the book of Proverbs, she has been around a long time; she is worth more than silver, gold, and precious jewels; and those who find her find life. Yet according to the Proverbs’ writers, few are interested in her. Most of us are interested in our own simple ways.

I’ve been trying to think about this. Why is the art of wisdom so hard to perform? If her voice is so loud, her presence so available, and her value-add so high—then why is it that I don’t listen but I follow my own way? Why don’t I stop and listen to her? I think the answer is: Pride.

I think it started at a young age. I let pride root deep in my heart. In my fear
I became self-reliant. In my pain I trusted no one. I was embarrassed to raise my hand and say I didn’t understand. It seems like everyone else understood the assignment—why didn’t I? Rather than ask, I pretended to know. In this insecurity I found it easier to be the critic and the corrector. It felt good to elevate myself over others, thinking, “Thank goodness I’m not like them! I’m educated.
I work hard. I’ve earned what I have. I know stuff. People like me.”

Pride makes me blind. It plugs my ears. And maybe the only way to begin to pull out the overpowering weeds of pride is to finally raise my hand and say, “I don’t know the way.” Maybe it is here, when I am broken and needy, that I will look up and ask, “God, will you be my vision? Will you be my wisdom? Will you be my true Word?” Because my way has been the wrong way.

Merciful God, will you be my wisdom? Will you be my true Word? Amen.

Written by Daniel Holladay, Senior High Youth Coordinator

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