Blaise Pascal told us, "You always admire what you really don't understand." To admire something, one is merely regarding something with a sense of awe or wonder - there is an element of surprise or beauty in what one comprehends in that moment, evoking some sort of 'feeling'. It creates a sense of 'desire' or 'wanting' within us that makes us look for more of what it is we are beholding. If we are 'admiring' a work of art, we might just be able to view it in the local museum - returning time after time to 'refresh' that sense of pleasure it evokes. We don't own it, though. It has not become fully acquired as our own. If we approach God this way, we might 'return' from time to time to get that 'feeling', but we aren't able to sustain it for very long. God isn't to be simply 'admired' as someone we don't fully understand - he wants close, personal, and continual relationship with us.
“And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord." (Proverbs 8:33-35)
Listen as Wisdom calls out...hear as understanding raises her voice (v.1). God is calling out - hear his voice. We may not fully understand his ways when we first respond to him, but that doesn't mean we won't come into a deeper understanding as we draw closer and closer to him. If you didn't realize this already, there is an 'intentional' placing of oneself into his care each and every day. We don't just wake up, gaze upon him as a 'work of art', admire him a bit, and then go about our business. We may bring Jesus into our home, treating him as a 'work of art' to be admired from time to time, but that isn't relationship - it won't bring a greater understanding of who he is and how he moves.
Watching implies a readiness to not only see, but to interpret what we are seeing, allowing the recognition to spur us into action. Not all 'watching' is done with the eyes, though. Sometimes it is our heart that is pondering something we have learned - ruminating on it until we come into a fuller understanding of what it is we have 'beheld'. This is how truth moves from words on a page into the wisdom that forms the basis of all our actions of the day. Wisdom is more than deeper understanding - it is the personality and heart of Christ actually beginning to come alive within us, affecting our thoughts, helping to choose our actions. We might not fully appreciate truth the first time we are exposed to it but behold it often enough and it begins to transform our lives. Just sayin!
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