Wisdom is a treasure, a precious cargo worth seeking, but it can also feel like a heavy weight threatening to sink our ship.
Through wisdom we know that our days on this earth are brief. Like a whisper of mist. Like a flower that blooms and fades. We are little more than grass and flowers, and we know that “grass withers and the flowers fall” (Isaiah 40:8).
Through wisdom, we do indeed learn “to number our days” (Psalm 90:12).
How, then, do we hold on to wisdom’s treasure without sinking under its weight? How do we keep our spirits from tipping over into despair? “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief” (Ecclesiastes 1:18).
The voice of pragmatism and reason would likely advise balance. Seek wisdom but not too much. In other words, don’t overdo it!
Yet, there is nothing balanced or reasonable about following Jesus. He is a lion and a lamb, not some creature halfway between the two.
The best way may be the utterly reckless way. Pursue wisdom with everything you have. Hold tight to it and weep. Feel the grief of that knowledge. For here is another paradox: there is laughter in these tears. Lady Wisdom “can laugh at the days to come” (Proverbs 31:25).
This is the laughter of children, the laughter of innocence.
To be like Jesus is to be utterly wise and thoroughly innocent, a serpent and a dove.
To be wise and innocent is to feel grief and joy that haven’t been dulled by fear. It is the wide-awake life he promised us.
“Awake, my soul!”