Besides my striving to excel at everything in school, I've always been afraid of asking the hard questions. I tend to stick in my comfort bubble that shelters itself miles away from the world of government, politics, or anything else controversial for that matter. Even with matters of where I stand on homosexuality or cohabitation in the church, I've shoved them back on the shelf for fear of being hated because, "I was taking the wrong side." For me, grey areas have always posed more comfort for me, because if you're on middle ground, no one hates you, right?
This is the mentality that's been etched into my brain, and it's forced me to shut down any new wave of thought that's sparked in my head. I'm living on neutral ground, with no real tug towards one end or another.
And because of my fear to explore new ideas, I tend to avoid the topic of WISDOM. What is wisdom, anyway?
I think God was prying the lid open on this one a few weeks ago.
One of my friends brought it up initially by quoting Luke 10:27:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind."
Yes, you've probably heard that verse a million times. Or if not a million, 999,999 times. But what my friend emphasized was the part of loving the Lord with all your mind. I guess I had never ventured this route yet -- whenever I think of loving the Lord, I think of loving Him through my praise or through the work of my hands. I didn't realize that we could love the Lord by studying books or engaging in discussion that pulls on the strings of your knowledge. And God actually desires that from us? It scared me a bit.
If that wasn't enough for God to grab my attention about the significance of wisdom, the leadership theme as my school this year is none other than this: A Call To Wisdom.
God is calling us to wisdom. He wants us to grow in knowledge of who He is and how His Kingdom will be established on this earth, and wisdom is the capability of dispersing this knowledge well.
Along with this call to wisdom, however, God wants us to come before Him as little children. You might see that as contradictory -- children aren't wise, so how can we be wise before God while possessing the personality as children?
I think C.S. Lewis says it well:
"[God] wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim." --Mere Christianity
God delights in childlike wonder. He loves to see us laugh, go on adventures, and create new things with our hands. Just like school children playing on a playground during recess or little girls dancing around the house as ballerinas (as my sister and I did when we were young), we can approach God with a child's playful heart.
Yet this doesn't mean we are stupid, inexperienced or clueless. Having the heart of a child does not mean you are a fool.
And to be completely vulnerable, that last statement is something I've believed for many years now. Many times when I'm joking around with my friends, I beat myself up afterwards because I feel like I was such a ditz. I suppose it's an insecurity issue, and a pride issue at the core, but I've swallowed and learn to accept the lie that I am clumsy and awkward.
Yet when I consider the idea that maybe, just maybe, God delights in my loud, obnoxious laughter with a couple snorts every now and then; or that He delights when I play hand-clap games with my friends in public places; or that He delights when I skip across a bridge with a huge smile painted across my face... I am blown away. God really couldn't be that childish, could He?
But the fact is, God created us in His image, and therefore by creating children and instilling such joy and silliness in them, He is showing us a side of Himself. God is bubbly, adventurous and sweet like children, and this does not displace the fact that He is also righteous, just, and holy.
He encompasses all qualities in one. What beauty.
So this is what it boils down to: embracing the child within you, but also deciding to pursue wisdom. In Matthew 10:16, Jesus calls us to be "as wise as serpents AND as innocent as doves." As polar opposite as that may sound, it's where we will find true joy and our place in the Kingdom.
As C.S. Lewis puts it, God "wants [us to have] a child's heart, but a grown-up's head."