I have cities but no houses. I have mountains, but no trees. I have water but no fish. What am I?
Hmm…what am I?
Seems like life is full of unsolved mysteries, unanswered questions, truths yet to be revealed and puzzles wrapped up in mazes, doesn’t it? If only there were a cheat sheet that we could access to just figure it all out at once. Well, beloveds, it doesn’t work that way. No, regrettably, yet thankfully, the more we unwrap, the more there remains to be unwrapped.
I say this: paradoxically, as revelatory as each step is, it confirms that there is still much to be revealed. So then, how do we proceed? For, the highest summit lands us at the bottom of the deepest pit.
Last week in my piece entitled, ‘We’re Hiring’, I cast my net out for those who possessed the WISDOM traits. There’s a reason for that. Each of the WISDOM traits possesses its individual virtue. Together, however, they build a formidable structure: a structure that supports, that surrounds, that covers and that sustains.
You see, in WISDOM, there is patience. In wisdom, there is kindness, generosity and faithfulness. In wisdom, there is gentleness, peace, and self-control. Through wisdom we find love and when we find love, we know joy.
You might say that I list these are a foregone conclusion. In my view, it is. But, my job isn’t to disclose foregone conclusions, but rather to share with you and in my sharing with you to open the window to you and eventually to open the door to you, so that you too, might step in and sit at the table, and taste and see all that is good.
So, allow me to open the window as I share with you the merit of wisdom.
Wisdom tells us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. My, if we follow this teaching, we develop patience. The more we listen and the less we speak, we grow in understanding, an understanding that turns us away from hasty responses and judging thoughts towards compassion in which we find kindness. In that kindness, we develop an increasing capacity towards generosity. As we become more and more generous, we learn that giving, far from depleting us, builds us. Far from emptying us, it fills us. That pattern of generosity soon blossoms into a need for faithfulness.
As we follow the bidding to be slow to speak and quick to listen, we capture more, internalising more, pondering more, understanding more, in a way that allows us to be gentle…towards ourselves and towards others. That gentleness settles into peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding. Where there is peace, inevitably, there will be self-control before others and before self. Now, as that self-control restrains that which was unpleasant, taming it…eventually effacing it, it opens the door for love to step in. And once we take hold of that pièce de résistance called love, we behold the height, the breadth and the depth of it and in that, we will know joy.
So friends, let wisdom be your guide in this life that is so full of mystery. Before long, you too, will understand that it is in wisdom that we find what we’re searching for.
Now, to end where we began: I have cities, but no houses. I have mountains but no trees. I have water but no fish. What am I? Why, I am a map.
I hope you find what you’re looking for.
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