Wednesday, November 21, 2018

I can see clearly now!

Okay, don't get me wrong, but whenever I hear someone talk about their 'chakra', I get a little creeped out. I am not at all into, nor have I explored, the Eastern religions. The 'spinning wheel' of energy points just doesn't cut it for me. The fact is - my first and only spiritual energy source is God. I have other energy sources such as the food I eat and the sleep I manage to sneak in each night. There are lots and lots of religions out there that proclaim truth - promoting some type of 'wisdom' of the ages. The fact remains - there is but ONE truth, ONE true God, and ONE way into his presence. If I want more light or illumination in my life - I turn to the one who made it!

There's nothing better than being wise, knowing how to interpret the meaning of life. Wisdom puts light in the eyes, and gives gentleness to words and manners. (Ecclesiastes 8:1)

There are books upon books written about finding "meaning in life". Some are clearly just reporting ways we might improve our "self-image" or engage in positive "self-talk" that will bring some type of "meaning" into our life. The opportunities to consider what brings "meaning" into one's life vary as much as the quantity of books on the bookshelves of our "self help" sections of the local bookstore or library. There are lots of opportunities - but as our scripture points out - God's wisdom is the best.

Wisdom gives us perspective - it gives us a vantage point from which to view life in such a way that we make our choices for action based on the "view" we have attained. Let me break that down. If we view a troubling circumstance such as an unanticipated debt from the vantage point of fear, we will panic at the possibility of damaging our credit or not being able to pay it off. If we view that same unexpected debt from the vantage point of faith, we might ask for help from the one we owe the debt to structure manageable payments over a longer period of time in order that we might pay the debt without fear of losing our good credit standing.

A "vantage" point is simply that which gives us a view that we might call "the 10,000 foot view". In other words, we see things from a bigger perspective than just the thing immediately in front of us. We often hear this referred to as the "big picture" view of a situation. Our vantage point determines our perspective. If we allow wisdom to become the basis by which we make choices in life, we will have a better vantage point than if we live by impulse or "whatever feels good" mentality.

Wisdom puts light in the eyes. Wherever we direct our focus, we will find that object is reflected in our eyes. That is why the Word reminds us that the eyes are windows to our soul. If our focus is on Jesus, the eyes will reflect the possibilities of faith. If our focus is on self, the eyes often reflect the hopelessness of self-effort. Perspective is determined by our vantage point - at best, self will struggle to accomplish the same thing that faith can accomplish by simply trusting. Wisdom also gives gentleness to words. Words are often a solid indicator of our focus or perspective at the moment. Having a gentleness to our words is an outcome of having a right perspective in life. Harsh words, or words that focus on the problem instead of the possibilities, are often based on being "internally focused" in life. We only see things from our vantage point, not the vantage point of another - and certainly not the vantage point of Christ. Therefore, words are reflective of what is best for us, what elevates us, what makes us look or fell good. They are often far from gentle (kind and loving).  
Wisdom gives us gentle manners. Manners is just another way of referring to behavior. Wisdom affects our behavior. Our vantage point determines our choices - if we have a "big picture view", we often make different choices in life.

Wisdom is really all about perspective - where we place our hope, what it is that we trust in, and how we either embrace or reject input into our lives. If our perspective is in Christ, our vantage point will always give us the best insight that will ultimately produce/result in the best for our lives. If we think we have a "good" vantage point and then end up being overtaken by our enemy, we really did not have much of a "vantage" point in the first place! We need the benefit of a "solid vantage point" in life. There is no other vantage point better that we will find than when our focus is solidly on Christ. Just sayin!