Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Janet goes to college

I've been toying with the idea of returning to school for several years. Every year something has prevented me. This year, nothing stands in my way, so when my friend Julie invited me to join her for a seminary visit, I jumped at the chance.
A guest speaker, Tom Shiave, Pastor of Gateway Baptist spoke on the topic of wisdom and discernment.

He began by having each student introduce themself and share a little. Who are you and what do you do? Seminary style.
About half the class are the college students you'd expect. The other half are, as Julie says, non-traditional students. All ages, ethnicities, such a wide variety of stories. I found being in that environment SO exhilirating and interesting. One check in the Pro column for returning to school.

Then he asked us to share someone we knew who was wise. This was awkward because the first person who came to mind, was Julie, my host. She has a way of looking out and up when I am mired in the muck. Eventually I did share much to her disgust. Humility is also a quality of wisdom. :-)

Then we talked about what wisdom isn't.
It isn't the ability to figure everything out or know why things are the way they are or what will happen next. Sometimes I really pressure myself to be this person.

Then, we talked about what wisdom IS.
It IS good common sense and right judgment. It is knowing WHAT to do, understanding or better yet perceiving practical things. The ability to make good decisions. It IS living skillfully in whatever actual condition you are in. It IS the ability to choose the best means to the best end.

If you were asked to name the wisest person ever... would you say Jesus? Yet, 1 Cor. 1:24 says that Christ is the power and the wisdom of God." Christ was the image of God applied and lived out as a man. Man we have redefined waht smarts and intelligence are in comparison to the life of Christ.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:13-18
So, how do I become wise?
A. Understand who God is and who I am instead. Acknowledge my smallness and distrust myself.
B. Be realistic about life, look at it as it really is.
C. Look for wisdom, seek it out
D. Pray and ask for it.
E. Make God's word a priority
F. Seek good wise counsel - find a mentor and read alot!
G. Listen to the words of Jesus (the wisest man ever)
H. Evaluate my decisions, what could I have done better?

So, there you have it. 90 minutes of seminary condensed.

What else I learned today, is this. I dont know if I can do my real life AND school. This one class gave me lots to chew on and there is no homework due. I just dont know if i have enough room in my brain or life for school right now, even if I absolutely would love it. Where would it fit? What would have to move or leave my schedule and priorities? Would it be... wise?


tyler said...

I heard the same lecture from that adjunct prof a year ago. It was one of my favorite classes of the semester.

Melinda said...

It sounds like time well spent. I loved my time at Multnomah. I lapped it up.

I will pray over the decision that you are grappling with, praying for clarity.

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will counsel you, and watch over you." Psalm 32:8