Where Does Wisdom Come From?

Numerous and wonderful things have been given to us through the Law, the Prophets, and the other writings that followed them. For this reason, it is necessary to praise Israel for education and wisdom. It is also necessary not only for those who read them to gain understanding but also for those who love learning to be of service to strangers when they speak and write. 

Sirach 1:1

I realized about two months ago that I walk too fast. When I was younger I used to run everywhere. I can only imagine what people thought as I raced to buy my M&Ms candy after school to share with my Yorkshire Terrier. I remember sorting the colors before eating them one by one. The tiny dog survived the daily poison.

Wisdom comes the more you notice the daily poisons you consume. The poisons can be sweet in the moment like when you’re scanning through beautiful images on Instagram. They can be masked as “goals” or “schedules” offered as help by the experts in psychology. As individuals, things that are healthy for some are not healthy for others.

There’s a man who always jogs past our house at 3 pm and upsets our dogs. He looks incredibly drained and frail from the running. I suspect it’s an addiction. Remember I used to run to get candy. In the back of my mind I was burning calories so I could eat the M&Ms without guilt.

Yet despite our individuality, I think actual wisdom comes from truths that are just there waiting to be discovered and embraced. There are those preferences that we call “our truths” but they are nothing like the time-tested TRUTH passed down through wise people in every age.

I had just started taking a class in groundwork with horses because despite my fear I can’t stop being drawn to horses. I have a sense that I must conquer fear in my life. The instructor pointed out, after the horse started nipping at me, how quickly I wanted the horse to respond to my requests . She asked why I thought the horse was doing that.

A rush of emotion welled up from nowhere. I almost cried. “Because horses don’t like me.”

I knew this was probably not true but I also knew it was how I felt in the moment when I became frustrated. The horse was mirroring my impatience and anxiety. It was the very next day when I noticed I was walking too fast. From the barn to the chicken coop, from the hay bales to the watering troughs, I raced from one chore to the next, all the while feeling a vague sense of guilt for not spending time enjoying my mini horse and my friendly flock of sheep.

We all know those stories about people on their deathbeds wishing they had just slowed down, had placed priorities on the eternal, on relationships and so on, but why in the moment is it so difficult for some of us to walk a little slower?

It really is important to seek wisdom. You don’t even have to run to the store to get it. You probably need to walk a bit more slowly just where you are, maybe hang out with an animal or read Sirach instead of scrolling all day long. We all know this and it can be hard, but walking slower this past week has made a world of difference.

10 thoughts on “Where Does Wisdom Come From?

  1. Thanks for the reminder. I read the scripture, but forget to take time to meditate and journal about it. I always have lists of things to do each day and often forget to seek wisdom for the dayl

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    1. I’ve started prioritizing reading scripture and other spiritual literature first thing but it’s amazing how quickly I forget what I’ve read when I get impatient. 🙂

      Writing some of the insights down definitely helps.

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    1. Hi Carla. The past year has been exxtremely intense on the family front, but in the last few months I’ve had time to to think about how our spiritual and emotional lives affect our physical health.

      I’ve had to really work on recuperating from the insanity of suddenly becoming a victim of abuse. It was so shocking!

      Everyone is safe now. It’s good to be a wiser version of my old self 🙂

      I hope you arre well too. I want to spend more time on blogs again. So much more fulfilling than the other social media I’ve slipped into for pretty pictures.

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      1. I haven’t been blogging at all for the past few years for one reason or another, but I hope to resume at some point. I’m relieved to hear that everyone is safe, and I have prayed for you when you came to mind, after the one post about that situation. I couldn’t imagine a way out of it, but I knew that God could.

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  2. It’s hard to slow down, but it’s good that you remind us of its importance. Your essay reminds me of the stated purpose of the book of Proverbs.
    Proverbs 1
    1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
    2 To know wisdom and instruction,
    to understand words of insight,
    3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
    in righteousness, justice, and equity;
    4 to give prudence to the simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the youth—
    5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
    and the one who understands obtain guidance,
    6 to understand a proverb and a saying,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.
    7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction.

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    1. It’s a shame that the generations of parents in the 20th century threw out the teachings of the wisdom books of the Bible. It would have made navigating my first forty years a lot easier of I hadn’t had to rediscover the wheel. I love Proverbs but Sirach in the Catholic Bible is reaally speaking to me lately.

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