I started today off a little awestruck by the 'Verse of the Day' on my sidebar: James 3:17-18...
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”
Then Facebook reminded me that 6 years ago I posted this tidbit on Mother Teresa:
Mother Theresa was once asked about her prayer life. The interviewer asked, “When you pray, what do you say to God?” Mother Teresa replied, “I don’t talk, I simply listen.”
Believing he understood what she had just said, the interviewer next asked, “Ah, then what is it that God says to you when you pray?” Mother Teresa replied, “He also doesn’t talk. He also simply listens.”
There was a long silence, with the interviewer seeming a bit confused and not knowing what to ask next. Finally Mother Teresa breaks the silence by saying, “If you can’t understand the meaning of what I’ve just said, I’m sorry but there’s no way I can explain it any better.”
My bible reading for today was exceptionally inspiring also. And then I read the following in Eugene Peterson's 'Eat This Book: A Conversation in The Art of Spiritual Reading':
"...despite the money and time our society expends in teaching us to read, nobody gives much attention or energy to teaching HOW to read. Among our ancestors reading involved a seeking of wisdom, becoming a mature person. With us it is more likely to be a retrieval of information so that we can answer a question or do a job. Spiritual reading is not contemptuous of information, but it has wisdom for its goal: BECOMING true and good, not just knowing about the facts of life or how to change a tire."
I don't really know how to explain the beauty I find in those pieces of writing.
On the one hand I am mystified by the continued enamorment our society seems to have with Donald Trump. In my opinion - small as it may be - he is the "anti-wisdom." He represents all that is hateful, vengeful, ugly, and corrupt about our society. I do not understand how someone who claims to be a follower of Christ can read the Bible and justify supporting someone like Trump. I have an inkling the way it's done is merely to "claim" Christianity, but not look too closely at the bible.
On the other hand, though, aside from presidential politics and societal idiocracy... I discovered something that seems to be happening to me. The bible has become beautiful to me. I find great joy and comfort in reading it. And I'm not exactly sure why.
It could be because I no longer read the bible for "work." It is no longer necessary to write sermons or lead bible studies. As I have said before, I read a "two-year" bible. There is a passage from the Old Testament, New Testament, a Psalm and Proverb for each day's reading. It finally dawned on me one day that the stories - stories that I've read over and over - have caught my interest again. Some days I will actually read ahead, but then go back and read it again the next day.
I also like the Verse of the Day on my sidebar, as well as a different one I get on my phone.
There is such profound wisdom in the bible. I would think that even non-believers would be able to see it, and maybe they do. It is so much more beautiful than the spewage coming out of Trumps mouth. And it's really not just Trump. My guess is his popularity stems from the fact he is the perfect representative of all the anger, hate, racism, belligerence, hostility, animosity, lunacy, greed, and whatever other negative thing you can think of in America right now.
We live in a world and a time that needs wisdom. Hope is not going to come from a loud-mouthed politician or businessman. I guess what surprised me this morning is my own personal rediscovery of wisdom/beauty in the bible. I am far, far, far from wise myself, but I feel like my bible reading makes a difference. At least for me.