“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10
I’m not really a fan of New Year’s resolutions. In fact, right around the beginning of the year, I think I amused my mother when I told her that I thought they were silly and arbitrary. Of course, part of her amusement may have been the matter-of-fact and ridiculously resolute manner in which I announced said theory.
It’s not that I don’t have goals or that I think setting goals isn’t a worthwhile endeavor. I do and it is. It’s just that specific New Year’s goals often seem morbidly misplaced to me. Amidst a handful of always rotating task-oriented objectives, I currently have just a few overarching goals (set and revised in the context of life as the need arises rather than linked to a particular day on the calendar that seems to lend itself to such a purpose), but they came into the picture long before January 1 and will endure long after January 1, so I can’t really call them New Year’s resolutions.
Not to mention, in years past when I have attempted to set New Year’s resolutions, I typically have failed to take into account a great deal of reality, so I end up failing miserably at them, and the perfectionist part of me doesn’t handle that well. Even if they are silly and arbitrary, writing them down and calling them resolutions makes them real enough to feel bad about not achieving them.
But although (for now) I don’t set New Year’s resolutions, I am by nature quite introspective and when everyone around me begins to lean that direction, I tend to hop right on that bandwagon and put in some extra thinking, evaluating, and analyzing hours myself.
Sometimes that’s productive. Other times, frankly, it is just not.
But while my goals list is extremely short at the moment, I do have a word for this year.
And while this word, this goal of sorts, seems pretty near impossible to measure, I know it’s what I need.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5
So I’m asking the Lord for it.
And I’m expecting it.
I don’t know how He’ll work or how He’ll reveal it or where He’ll lead this year.
But regardless, I want more of His wisdom in and through it all.
And so far, this wisdom is literally around every corner … as if it’s begging to be uncovered. Scripture is certainly not silent about it … this wisdom that is ever and fully dependent on its Source. It’s taking my mind captive. I’m noticing it. I’m soaking it in. I’m evaluating where I fall short, where I need more, and where I need to release.
Because while last year my phrase “to seek the Lord” at times seemed more like something I had to do or achieve, this word doesn’t much seem like something I can accomplish on my own at all – by a sheer force of willpower and self-control.
No, this word, this wisdom, requires dependence, trust, confidence. This wisdom requires standing in need and utter desperation, asking for more of His power, more of His grace, more of His presence.
And in the process of asking, I hope to watch Him increase as I decrease.
I long for more of His wisdom. I long for more of Him.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17