Today was the memorial service for Mr. R. Needless to say, it’s been a long week.
I spent some time thinking about him and his life and life in general, though. What I came to realize, more than anything, is that he was a wise man in the truest sense of the word. Some people have a lot of knowledge, but don’t know when or how to use it; other people don’t have very much knowledge, but that which they do have, they have the ability to put to beautiful use; Mr. R. had both. He had the gift of discernment, the will to use it, and the heart to use it for good.
I have not known very many truly wise people. Mr. R., my grandfather, and maybe Dr. B., the former dean of my school. Mr. S. and Steve are pretty close up there. (It is often said that wisdom is “having knowledge and knowing when to use it”–I think it’s equally important to know how to use it. That knowledge comes with experience, which often comes with age: the first three I listed are/were all over the age of 65.) They were also all involved in the ministry. Dedicating one’s life to God’s work brings experience, which breeds empathy, which assists in developing the how.
Oh, and don’t get me wrong: women can be wise, too. I just happen to have less experience with the older, sagely sort of women. If I had to give examples, though, I’d say my coach and Mrs. D., my biology teacher, are pretty high up there. (If we make an age a criterion, though, they’re too young *wink* *wink*). I’ve said of both of them (to each other, about the other one, actually–they don’t know each other) that I hope to be half of who/what they are when I am their age (fifty-ish). That includes their wisdom. Both love their jobs, love their families, and love God. They are busy, but fulfilled.
This post isn’t really going anywhere. I’m too frazzled to write anything particularly coherent. Let’s just say it’s an inductive thought process. What do wise people, based on my experience, have? Three things: they tend to be older, they’ve faced challenges which they’ve overcome, and they pray–a lot.