I’m turning 50 this week.
I’m not yet fifty — it’s just six days away — but I thought I’d lead you through my journey, and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two that will help you on your journey.
I want you to believe I’m smart.
I know it sounds so shallow, but it’s true.
I’ve never cared much about how my reputation is affected by opinions about my clothing, vehicles or income.
On the other hand, I hope you think I’m smart.
It’s good discipline to be a lifelong learner.
It’s important to try to develop our brains.
But, I have to avoid thinking that being smart and well-read that I will:
– satisfy my heart’s deepest desires
– increase my value as a person
I’ve been smart most of my life, but unfortunately I’ve had to be much more intentional about developing wisdom.
I’ve told this story before, but it bears repeating.
When I was a young man my friends Steve Schesvold, Dave Murphy and David Villringer would tease me for my recklessness.
One morning at the conclusion of a Grace Community Church pancake breakfast I needed to dispose of my paper plate. Being “blessed” with both laziness and misguided self-confidence I threw away my plate. Unfortunately, I attempted to throw away my crumb-filled, syrup-laden plate from across the room, over tables, around other people and into the trash can.
I cannot recall all the specifics, but I know I missed the can and hit an innocent bystander with my sticky paper plate.
Because of my laziness and lack of judgment and skill, I still had to get off my chair, but now it also had to be accompanied by some humility, a sincere apology, and Steve’s legendary quote, “you have an exaggerated view of your own abilities.”
My dad’s comment to me was right, “Commonsense is not common to you.”
And it was not.
How does someone grow in wisdom?
One way is intentionally. At I prepared to turn fifty I’ve interviewed dozens of people over fifty to ask questions, and learn answers. I wanted to lean on and learn from them. I wanted to gain wisdom.
Solomon, the Hebrew king, wanted to become more wise. As the years passed, Solomon found out that all his accumulated knowledge about life meant nothing if he did not know God our Creator. Solomon learned this truth the hard way.
Sadly, instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as an older man Solomon’s heart turned away from the Lord, even though God had appeared to him twice. 1
It’s good to gain knowledge.
It’s smart to grow smarter.
And, the more wise people we have in the our lives the better.
It’s most wise to hang onto God.
Solomon allowed himself to be distracted from God.
Solomon forgot where his wisdom had come from and what a treasure it was.
“Please, not me!” is mysilentscream.
1 – 1 Kings 11:1-13, NLT