Have you ever noticed the white line painted on the right side of the road? I’m not well versed in highway terminology, I passed my drivers test by scoring the exact number needed to walk over to the courthouse and have my license printed. Not a single point higher. I know that line is called a fog line only because I was pulled over by a cop who asked, “Ma’am, did you know you hit that fog line awfully hard a few miles back?” Puzzled. Truly puzzled, I replied, “I’m sorry, I hit what?” He knew I had no idea what he was talking about. Right there, on the side of the highway with blue lights flashing in my rearview mirror and my heart literally about to beat out of my chest, he schooled me on the fog line. I drove away without a ticket, and with a clear understanding of that simple white line.
I’m not wise because I know what that line is called, I’m wise because I stay away from it while I’m driving, now.
Sometimes wisdom comes in the form of a heartbreaking loss or a tough break. Sometimes it comes in the form of sweet success or in the midst of a tender moment. At times, wisdom is welcomed with open arms, when we can see clearly and apply it to our lives in such a way that it changes us forever, for the better. Other times, we’d give anything in our power to undue the wisdom bestowed on us. It can be as simple as learning something disturbing about the way our favorite food is processed or as complex having your trust wrecked by someone you love. Either way, one thing is for sure, without wisdom our lives wouldn’t be near as full, our actions wouldn’t be nearly as significant.
Without wisdom, I wouldn’t pick up Allen’s towel on my way out the bathroom door to take my things to the laundry room. I’d leave it there and shake my head as I let out a loud sigh each and every time I walked by until it got his attention. I’d pick apart every single thing he does that is different than my way. I’d keep score as he forgot to take the trash can to the end of the driveway or failed to use a coaster. I know, because I’ve done those things before. But those are just things, just some dirty towels and water stains. I am certain that for every one thing that drives me crazy, there are one thousand things that I love about him. Without wisdom, I’d forget the important and focus on the insignificant.
Without wisdom, I would be searching the internet for an answer to why almost-three-year-old stopped taking naps, again. I would read forums and replies, I would Google how much sleep toddlers actually need, I would immerse myself in finding an answer to an unanswerable question. I would let the stubbornness come out and battle this no-nap mindset the last few days has given us. But I know, this too shall pass and I believe it will. It will pass quickly. Just like when she wasn’t sleeping through the night, just like when she was teething, just as quickly as each and every other milestone or rough patch.
Without wisdom, I wouldn’t understand the importance of grace. I would be somewhere else, chasing perfection, comparing myself to other moms who do things differently, and wondering if I’ll ever get caught up. I’d still be thinking of the times when I couldn’t muster the patience I needed, when I worried even after I prayed, when I failed to give God the control. But, I know that right here is where I need to be, that those shortcomings mold me, even when I can’t see it happening. Though the dishes sometimes stack up in the sink and my heart feels like I’m anything but the mother she thinks I am. Because of grace, I know better. I am better.
Without wisdom, I’d have a few less stories to tell. Oh, wisdom, sometimes it comes with a sense of humor. I wouldn’t know what happens when you leave your car in neutral, parked in the carport, on a sloping driveway. I wouldn’t know the importance of getting off the ski lift when your feet first hit the ground, rather than hesitating and jumping off from 10 feet up onto the platform below. I wouldn’t know just how much it can cost to take a stray cat to the vet and agree to major surgery (and in that case, what it feels like for a stray cat to turn into our pet cat).
Without wisdom, I wouldn’t know that this knowledge that I have, these experiences that I’ve gained, this love that I know, is nothing compared to what I’ll gain in my next 26 years.
You tell me, what has wisdom given you?