Speaking as an elderly man, wisdom is what we hope we have traded our youth for. Because if I am no wiser after having lived for seventy-five years, it has been a poor trade. Wisdom grows out of knowledge but is tempered with experience and seasoned with good judgment.
It took something like eighteen years of formal education to qualify as an engineer and a lifetime of study to consider myself to be an educated man. Wisdom is like that.
I once wrote a sermon titled, “Beyond Wisdom.” The point was that some life choices I had made were more than wise — they were inspired by the action of the Holy Spirit. I think that must be a facet of wisdom too, to be aware of the urgings of the Holy Spirit and to trust enough to follow where the Spirit leads.
I sometimes think about what sort of old man I want to be. There could be some entertainment value in being a crusty old curmudgeon — negative and grumpy. I could be a kindly old codger, full of stories and useful advice on life to share with my grandchildren. I never listened to anything my grandparents had to say so I don’t know why I should expect mine to listen to me.
Wisdom is a quiet thing. Like love, it does not boast. Perhaps I’ll just keep my mouth shut and strike a thoughtful pose. People may think I am wise as long as I say nothing to destroy the illusion.
Good. I think that’s a wise choice.