Foolish or Wise?

November 12, 2017

Everyone wants to be wise.  Everyone longs to be a wise sage sifting out truth and being a spokesperson for it.  The young generation who loves Star Wars gravitate to the image of Yoda or a Jedi Master.  As we all know, to become a master, one needs training.  In real life, wisdom is found through experience and reflection on that experience.  I remember my sophomore year in high school being given a definition of a wise person as those who know what they do, but also know where to find out what they don’t. This has stuck with me throughout my whole life.  We must realize our limits and the fact that we don’t know everything, yet be able to find out what we don’t know.  I was also told in the seminary that wisdom cannot be a part of life until one is 50 years old.  To become a wisdom speaker, like John the Baptist, isn’t possible in our society until we are older. As a 25 year old, I longed to prove this theologian wrong.  I never did.  After celebrating my 55th birthday, I sent him a letter to tell him I finally realized what he was talking about.

Wise or foolish?  How prepared are we?  What are we taking on the journey?  What will make us wise in the Kingdom of God?  What will allow us to have what we need when the hour for God’s intervention and welcoming happens?  Faith is a gift.  What we know is that love triumphs over evil.  What we know is God will remember our sin no more because of the sacrifice of Jesus.  What we know is that the things of this world can never satisfy us, fulfill us or give us the peace that God gives.  What can prepare us to meet our maker?  If we live a good life in expectation of the ending, we will be prepared. We really take nothing with us.  Being prepared is having a clear conscience about all we do.  It is about realizing we have but one destination, which is union with God in heaven.  The more I live, the more I realize how small and insignificant I am and how more magnificent God is.  Wine changes into His blood, bread changes into His body, love enters the world in ways that cannot be controlled by any nation or political party.  Wisdom leads me to just sit in the sacred moments in awe while knowing I have no place or part in it.  When I can be that free, I can dance with abandon and be embraced by deep joy.  I don’t reach that mountaintop every day, even though I wish I did.  But when it happens I cherish it, embrace it and know it is not mine. I realize I am not worthy and I did nothing to earn what I just received.

Being prepared is to have the eyes of our woundedness focused and the sin of our souls identified and the spirit of our being hungry and ready to eat. This God of unexpected moments will find us.  A wise rabbi wrote a thesis on God’s search for man.  When we realize what we search for has been searching for us all along, we are powerless and in that state we are wise.  Good luck on this journey; to be wise is to surrender everything.

Still not there, but I am trying…

Reverend John J. Ouper