Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In pursuit of knowledge and wisdom - Proverbs 8:10 with a story from the life of Socrates and an observation.

SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 8:10 (TM)
Prefer my life-disciplines over chasing after money, and God-knowledge over a lucrative career.

A STORY as told by M. Littleton:
There's a story about a proud young man who came to Socrates asking for knowledge. He walked up to the muscular philosopher and said, "O great Socrates, I come to you for knowledge."

Socrates recognized a pompous numbskull when he saw one. He led the young man through the streets, to the sea, and chest deep into water. Then he asked, "What do you want?"

"Knowledge, O wise Socrates," said the young man with a smile.

Socrates put his strong hands on the man's shoulders and pushed him under. Thirty seconds later Socrates let him up. "What do you want?" he asked again.

"Wisdom," the young man sputtered, "O great and wise Socrates."

Socrates crunched him under again. Thirty seconds passed, thirty-five. Forty. Socrates let him up. The man was gasping. "What do you want, young man?"

Between heavy, heaving breaths the fellow wheezed, "Knowledge, O wise and wonderful..."

Socrates jammed him under again Forty seconds passed. Fifty. "What do you want?"
"Air!" the young man screeched. "I need air!"

"When you want knowledge as you have just wanted air, then you will have knowledge."

We already know more than we can ever use and yet, our pool of knowledge is growing ever larger. A case in point is my little Mac-mini computer. It measures 8x8x1 inches. The speed is unbelievable. Its ability is unimaginable. Now, compare what this little square box to huge machines that occupied nearly the entire second floor of Sears and Roebuck in Atlanta in 1970 when I worked for them as a credit supervisor. The temperature in that huge room was kept in the 60-degree range. There were hundreds of machine linked together. And yet, my little Mac-mini can handle thousands upon thousands more data then those early computers could in 1970. It is just unbelievable.

We chase after knowledge, but lack basic wisdom. We desire bigger, faster things. We hunger after more “stuff” and leave our desire for the things called holy on the sidelines. We sell our souls for what the world offers and by-pass the unbelievable joy of a relationship with God.

One of the lessons of the Wise Men, scholars if you will – the best minds that the world offered in that day - is that in all of their knowledge and wisdom they desired to bend their knees in worship in the young child’s presence. Oh, that we would follow their example.

Examples abound, gracious Lord, of individuals who place what the world offers at the feet of Jesus in their desire to worship him to the fullest. Give us the courage to follow suit. In the precious name of Jesus we ask this, Amen.

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