Where can wisdom be found? Where is understanding’s home? Mankind doesn’t appreciate their value; and you won’t find it anywhere on earth. The deepest ocean says, ‘It’s not within me.’ and the sea says, ‘You’ll never find it with me.’ You can’t buy it with gold, and its value cannot be calculated in silver.
Job 28: 12-15
Author, humorist and radio host, Garrison Keillor begins his stories with, “It’s been a quiet week in my hometown…” That sounds so lovely doesn’t it? Every time I turn around lately, I seem to be saying, “Sorry I haven’t gotten to this (fill in the blank) it’s been a hectic week, month, season in my home.” And that’s something this Type A just really hates to have to say. I mean, it’s going in to a second week without a blog post and my obligation alarms are clanging.
But when I see what’s coming ahead, it’s not going to get any better. There aren’t going to be fewer obligations on the home front, work will not miraculously finish itself and well, add the holidays into that mix and you have utter chaos brewing. And isn’t that what seems to be happening in the world?
A few weeks ago, Pope Francis asked us to fast and pray for peace. I chose a different kind of fast. I fasted from news and e-mail. And it was pure gift. Now, I’ve extended that fast to e-mails on my days off. What I often thought would be a 5 minute check-in just to make sure there are no emergencies, would turn into a few hours, then maybe a follow-up call. The world is locked in this vicious cycle too. Several folks have mentioned it. Things feel as if they are spinning too fast and it all feels out of control. But what if we just stopped for a moment, took a deep breath and breathed a sigh of relief?
I cannot solve the crisis in Syria. But I can breathe, and make room for prayer. I can stop long enough to listen to the Holy Spirit to see where I am being led. Maybe the answer will come and I’ll have the wisdom to know what to do with it. Where can wisdom be found? I cannot tend to those who were wounded in the Navy yard in DC. But I can stop and see what is happening in my neighborhood, my family and make room for what I can do. Where is understanding’s home?
I’ve been working with several groups lately who are asking “What do we value? What are our values? How do we live those values – personally and organizationally?” Those are not easy questions, especially when we may appear to have different values or different ways of living those values. And it can be scary to go there. It’s so much easier to stay on the surface and run crisis to crisis. But what if we lived our values? And honored what we can not do along with what we can?
I realized I value relationship. I value being intentional and being accountable for what I have said I will do. I value being organized and above all, I value integrity – wholeness, unity, cohesion, solidarity, togetherness. I have not been living lately as if I recognize those values. I carelessly tossed them aside, to be informed, reactive, consumed. I placed a higher value on multi-tasking and showing up, than really being present to what I have said “yes” to. And once again, I have lost myself in the “doing” and I forgot the importance of being. Being with you, being with the Spirit, being available to say yes and being ready to say no; for valuing the sacredness of space – making room for the Holy Spirit to move within me and among us.
So while there are times that I wish I could hit the pause button, it would only make a difference if I am willing to let go, listen and be faithful to living the values God has instilled in me. Living in this world, where silver and gold drives us, we cannot see it drives us into fear, distrust, anger and isolation. When we value one another above all, then all of that slips away and we become what’s most important, working together in this unfinished world.
What do you value? Where would you like to pause and take a breath?
Still learning to walk a little more slowly on the path,