Thursday, September 8, 2005


I stumbled accross this passage in Job 27: 12-28

But whence can wisdom be obtained, and where is the place of understanding? Man knows nothing to equal it, nor is it to be had in the land of the living. Solid gold cannot purchase it, nor can its price be paid with silver. It cannot be bought with gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx or the sapphire. Gold or crystal cannot equal it, nor can golden vessels reach its worth. Neither coral nor jasper should be thought of; it surpasses pearls and Arabian topaz. Whence then, comes wisdom, and where is the place of understanding? It is hid from the eyes of any beast; from the birds of the air it is concealed. The path to it no bird of prey knows, nor has the hawk's eye seen that path. The proud beasts have not trodden it, nor has the lion gone that way. The abyss declares, "It is not in me"; and the sea says, "I have it not." Abaddon and Death say, "Only by rumor have we heard of it."
God knows the way to it; it is he who is familiar with its place. For he beholds the ends of the earth and sees all that is under the heavens. He has weighed out the wind, and fixed the scope of the waters; When he made rules for the rain and a path for the thuderbolts, then he saw wisdom and appraised it, gave it its setting, knew it through and through. And to man he said: Behold, the fear of the Lord is wisdom; and avoiding evil is understanding.

This passage calls, directly, to all people, whether atheist, Muslim, Jew, or Christian. There is no greater gift or treasure in the world than wisdom - with it we discern right from wrong, good from bad and choose goodness over evil. The passage's point is clear - regardless of who we are, what we wish to be, or how much we have, we do not have true wisdom unless we center ourselves in awesome appreciation of that which is larger than ourselves - creation. We are a product of Creation, not it of us. In understanding how a drop of rain acts as it runs down a single hair on our head...we gain the wisdom of where we belong in a picture far larger than we can possibly imagine. A canvas so vast that our place on it is but a stroke, but still crucial to the image in its whole. Doing good, finding our place is the result of humility, acceptance, honesty, and patience - I am not there, but I hope that by exercising those virtues, I might find just a bit of lightness in a dark universe.