Sunday, February 19, 2017

What marks your journey?

"Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. 
In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you."
(Oscar Wilde)

God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens. He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall. He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.'" (Job 28:23-28 NLT)

We can probably all recall the scripture verse about where our heart is there will our treasure also be, but when we stop for a moment to consider where our heart has been, where it is now, and where it is it might be headed into the future, we can certainly see how much "different" treasures it may have held along the way. The way to wisdom is probably the hardest path to follow, but also the most rewarding, for along the journey, we discover not only what we call "wisdom", but we come face-to-face with the person of Christ - the embodiment of wisdom himself.

The fear of the Lord is true wisdom - to forsake evil is real understanding. It might matter to some the journey one has taken to finding a close, personal relationship with Christ, but I think it matters more that their journey has been marked with signs of grace and mercy along that same path. Those places or moments of grace are what actually "crafted" their journey toward that closeness of relationship with Christ - something money cannot buy, nor committee approve, or legislation transform. The fear of the Lord isn't learned in the classrooms as much as it is learned in the living of life - the place where decisions are made - good or bad - and the outcome is set in motion. At that juncture, the heart is swayed toward good or evil - the moments of God's grace ever pulling us toward goodness.

We might think someone's journey has been riddled with "too much drama", or "too little positive upbringing". These are our judgments, my friend, not God's. He sees every life as valuable and every step along their journey as those moments when he allowed grace to intervene where evil might have wanted to a different outcome. Their journey might be marked with hard places, absolutely hurtful and harmful decisions, and consequences unintended when setting out, but their end has not been written yet! Their journey toward grace is still being written by the hand of a God who sets in motion the very path they will travel to meet face-to-face with the Wisdom of the Ages. We too often want to write these moments off as just "bad decisions", but even the worst of decisions can become the canvas upon which God writes a tremendous story of love and grace for all to see. Just sayin!