To Grow in Wisdom and Understanding. . .

Reflecting on the encounter I had last week led me to a deeper understanding of the situation I find myself in today.  I am grateful for the painful experience of bumping up against another person’s boundary.  What I am learning about myself as I turn my gaze inward has less to do with that encounter, more to do with the decisions I need to make for myself as the world emerges from a long, dark year.

O Comforter, my Strength!

Let me make amends and start anew;

Let me grow in wisdom and understanding.

Psalm 59, Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness, Nan C. Merrill

Starting with the encounter last Saturday, a number of events happened this week that made me realize that things had changed in my life, and I need to change with them.  This is not an unfamiliar feeling for me.  It is kind of like going on a road trip without a map, but knowing you only have to watch the roads signs for directions.  I am not always sure when the road signs will show up, but I can trust that when I see them, I should follow them.  I know I now have to make some decisions, but what will be the outcome is not yet quite clear.

Wisdom and Understanding, Oil on Canvas, 16″x12″

I envision this emotional space as a dark and lush landscape.  The grounding is rich soil with signs of life, filled with lots of greenery, with tall mountains against the dark sky. The sun is already rising and bringing forth bright rays of light. With wisdom and understanding comes a great sense of hope and strong faith in what lies ahead.

4 thoughts on “To Grow in Wisdom and Understanding. . .

  1. Again, I feel for your situation and know the right course for you will become clear. I wish ‘the world’ demonstrated more of the pause and self-reflection that you share in your wisdom and understanding journey and with this recent post, I felt the need to respond with my thoughts.
    It seems in life the hardest nut to crack is our own, and while self-reflection is always necessary for understanding and growth, sometimes getting another perspective helps.
    With only having the briefest insight from your shared situation, I want to offer the ‘5 Why analysis” which is something I learned when working as the Continuous Improvement/Quality Manager at the manufacturing plant where I worked. You can go on line for examples, but basically you define the problem you’re trying to solve (which often is difficult to get to) and then ask why after each answer until you get to the root cause of the problem. Now at each level you could find a lot of answers to the whys and from there go down each answer. In your situation you could start with, “Why did I ask xxx that question wish ‘the world’ demonstrated more of the pause and self-reflection that you share in your wisdom and understanding journey. ?” or even “Why did I think to ask that question? or for after, “Why did I have my reaction?” It sounds like you’re doing this, but my point with this is to ask the Whys.

    Also, the trip with no road map analogy was great because while we have plans or goals in life, often (without seeming cliche) it’s the journey off the road that is the most exciting. Perfect example, yesterday my husband and I went out to Joshua Tree Natl Park for the day for fun, and on the way back we ran into really bad traffic. In the middle of a traffic jam there was an offramp that my husband suddenly took that placed us onto this ‘road’ called Jack Rabbit Trail. We went from the freeway to a road marginally paved to start, that turned into rubble road deteriorating down to almost just a couple tire paths with the ditches all over from water run off, driving along the edge of a hilltop. I kept saying, “What if another car comes, we’ll have nowhere to go!” At first, I quite honestly was scared, worried we were going to roll off the edge, gripping the Jesus bar, telling my husband to slow down. Mike kept laughing and saying, “Jack lives here”-go figure, meaning rabbits I guess. It was only AFTER I took my eyes up off the road and looked around that I realized we had stumbled into this beautiful natural territory of green lush rolling hills all around, no homes in sight! I said to Mike, “Where has this been all of our lives, and realized that if we didn’t take the chance and get off the freeway at that time and place, we never would’ve encountered it. I will remember that detour forever!


    1. Great thoughts! Thank you for sharing the 5 Whys and your adventurous detour. Yes the 5 whys would be helpful in a situation like this, I have used them before or a similar process. It is usually the unexpected changes or detours we take by surprise that lead us to the most beautiful places in our lives.


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