By Brian Niemiec
We made it! The last countdown for Christmas begins today with the first “O” Antiphon. “O wisdom, O holy word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet gentle care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” Wisdom has been used as an image for God throughout scripture, and for me it is something that I really struggle with.
Have you ever taken one of those personality tests? Myers Briggs, Enneagram, etc…? My office took the Strengths Finders test last year, and of the 35 options my number one strength was self-assurance. At this point I don’t remember what the book explained it as, but I know that I often thing I have the right ideas, tools, and experiences to solve and fix most problems that come-up in my life. In all honesty, I sometimes have a hard time discerning between self-assurance and arrogance.
Yet, life has a way of humbling us all, and again and again I keep getting reminded that self-assurance does not mean I have all the answers or can fix all the problems. Knowledge and experience does not equal wisdom. Between planning a wedding, discerning next steps in my career, and balancing time between all the events and commitments that happen this time of year, I have found myself shaking my head at God and saying “I do not know what to do. Where are you leading me?”
And so this image of wisdom for me is not some all-knowing brain directing the entirety of creation, but is rather a conversation with someone who sees the whole picture, understands the movements of the world and my heart, and can gently (and sometimes not so gently) guide me along a path towards the Kingdom and fullfillment. I think today, December 17th, is a great chance for all of us to stop and speak to the one who is wisdom, and remind ourselves that wisdom is not something that can ever be truly attained, but can only be more fully realized in our hearts as we walk this journey with Christ, the Holy Wisdom of God.