26 Years Old – Still Learning to Walk – Ecclesiastes 7:23-25

PainLast time I wrote about my personal journey, I mentioned how my life’s vision is being constantly reshaped focusing my attention on specific goals. My shifting priorities as I ‘grow up’ are leading me down a path of new self-discovery that adds fresh depth to the previous 7 year chapter of my life. I thought I’d never emerge from that difficult time of trying so hard to be all God wants me to be and coming up just short of the goal every time. Doing your own stunts can hurt.

Getting married and working one job full-time have made an incredible difference in my life. Two huge gifts God has blessed me with in the past year — not because I’ve proved myself faithful, but because God is calling me to new challenges as He continues preparing me for whatever His ultimate plan is for my life.

Tonight He floored me with the following verses:

All this I tested by wisdom and I said, 
       “I am determined to be wise”— 
       but this was beyond me.

Whatever exists is far off and most profound— 
       who can discover it?

So I turned my mind to understand, 
       to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things 
       and to understand the stupidity of wickedness 
       and the madness of folly.

– Ecclesiastes 7:23-25, TNIV

At first, I couldn’t figure out what was happening. He just gets done talking about hanging on every person’s words and then he follows up this passage talking about ‘fool ensnaring women’. I had to re-read this several times before it clicked.

Unattainable GoalIf your goal is in life is be as wise as possible, it’s a foolish goal. You can’t just set the goal of wisdom, get up, and set out to find it. Once ‘found’, you can’t check it off the list. If you’re into SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-sensitive) goals, this falls well outside the rubric.

Wisdom doesn’t come by setting wisdom as a goal – it comes as a by-product of observing your life around you. Searching out the meaning of things reveals the depth of wisdom set in motion by our Creator around us. It’s figuring out the ‘more often than nots’ in life. For example:

  1. The relationship to which the bus to/from work will always be late on rainy and/or cold days versus sunny/warm days is always subject to the law of inverse reciprocity — the former which retaining the higher value in the relationship.
  2. ‘Rewarding’ law-abiding handgun owners with legislation to strip them of their constitutional right to bear arms in self-defense — will be an ideology that never dies regardless of its inherent logical flaw.
  3. Knowing that my wife will always wake up in the middle of the night and ask me questions she’ll never remember the answers to in the morning — and thus repeating them.
  4. I will never be who God wants me to be until I realize I cannot take great leaps of faith towards my goals until I commit myself to practicing the wisdom God is teaching me daily.
I have to turn my mind to understand — to investigate and to search out wisdom — the scheme of life. I’m 26, wanting to run, but I still feel like I’m taking baby steps. Maybe sometime soon, I’ll get to walk.

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