The cost of wisdom and overlooking things ...

Remember the post I wrote about how wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook?

I should be very careful about what I write.

The same day I posted that little tidbit of wisdom I was tested.

This is a common occurrence for me.

When I preach on generosity, I often face a test of my own generous (or not-so-generous) spirit.

When I preach on forgiveness, I am often wronged in a painful way.

When I preach or teach on kindness, I often find myself lashing out at the people I love most.

It is an annoying little habit of God's, this ironic testing.

So, here God goes again ...

I posted about how William James said that wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook,

and then I headed out my door to get back in the work groove after the sultry days of summer,

dressed for success,

my schedule in my hand,

a to-do list to power through ... and bam!

First Test: I swing by an old friend's house to drop off some golf clubs we wanted to donate to a local club. I had scheduled just enough time to drop them off. But as my friend and I loaded them in her car, she shared with me that her daughter-in-law had been killed that summer. 

I stood for 30 minutes in her garage and simply listened to her story, her grief, her pain, her life.

Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.

I got into the office and started to get into that work groove I had been planning on.

Second Test: My friend and colleague returned from presiding over an intensely painful funeral and needed an ear. So I listened, shed a few tears and tried my best to carry some of his pain.

Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.

Third Test: I leave the office for a brief period of time to check on my dog back home, after which I plan to return to church, meet with a couple I will marry next month and then go to yoga. I was so looking forward to yoga. My phone rings as I am bopping out the door of the church, ready to grasp the reins of my life again and get it under my control. I learn my mom is in the emergency room. I race back to church, cancel my appointment and head right to the ER. There I will remain, on and off, for the next 24 hours.

These three tests all occurred on one day, right after I posted this little piece of knowledge:

Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.

I really don't know what point I am attempting to make here; perhaps I just wanted you to hear my story.

That said, I am continuing to get a deeper and deeper understanding that God cares less about some little quote I think is fancy or interesting or enlightening, but cares more about how I actually live in the very real moments of my very real days.

Do I simply want to write about wisdom?

Do I merely want to ponder overlooking insignificant things in an effort to focus on the significant?

Do I only want to write in order to tease, to titilate, to appear wise?

Or, do I really want to roll up the sleeves of my life and actually make the effort - pay the price - of living wisely?

Do I really want to count the cost of overlooking things I cling to like order, control, a sense of accomplishing the little lists I create for myself, in order to be present for people God calls me to see, to hear, and to show up for?

I am pretty sure - today at least - that I want to pay the price, count the cost, make the effort of actually living wisely.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Tags: Called to Community, Living Truthfully, Developing a Rule of Life