“Wisdom, that’s my word and focus for this year,” I said in response to Keith’s question. We sat across from one another in the great room, he in the recliner and I curled up on the loveseat. The coffee table between us held an ice bucket with champagne chilling, two flutes, two plates and napkins, and a bowl of air-fried mushrooms Keith had made with his Christmas gift. Because we were feeling a bit under the weather—same as last year—we had delayed our New Year’s Eve celebration to New Year’s Day.
After we touched glasses and said, “Happy New Year, Love,” I explained why I chose Wisdom for 2022.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10 NIV
I leaned toward Keith. “My relationship with God is first and foremost, and that relationship starts with dependence—fear, which is really awe.” Keith helped himself to another mushroom and took a sip of champagne.
“Fear of the Lord is not really fear or awe, but a combination,” he said. “We don’t have a word for it, maybe because we humans don’t like dependence—submission even less. We’ve talked about this.”
Indeed, we had. “That’s what I’m thinking about. I know so little and never will, but I’m open to wisdom’s mystery.”
My word-of-the-year goals always come from different sources, and wisdom was no exception. A few days before Christmas, I read this reflection from Richard Rohr.
“I believe that what we all need is wisdom,” he wrote. “I’m very disappointed that we in the Church have passed on so little wisdom. Often the only thing we’ve taught people is to think that they’re right—or that they’re wrong. We’ve either mandated things or forbidden them. But we haven’t helped people to enter upon the narrow and dangerous path of true wisdom. On wisdom’s path we take the risk of making mistakes. On this path we take the risk of being wrong. That’s how wisdom is gained.”
And that’s how we relate to others in community, or at least we should. To be understanding with others who risk making mistakes, risk being wrong, risk gaining wisdom. With the trials and testing of the past year or so in mind, I wrote about cultivating faith-based understanding in this post for The Perennial Gen’s January theme: church.
How do we behave wisely toward one another? From the stand-point of our divine identity, as children of God.
Rohr: “Jesus came to teach us the way of wisdom. He brought us a message that offers to liberate us from both the lies of the world and the lies lodged in ourselves. The words of the Gospel create an alternative consciousness, solid ground on which we can really stand, free from every social order and from every ideology. Jesus called this new foundation the Reign of God, and he said it is something that takes place in this world and yet will never be completed in this world.”
After refilling our glasses, I said to Keith, “So, what’s your focus for this year?”
“The Starflower,” [Keith’s science fiction novel, coming out fall 2022] and writing the sequel,” he said. “I’m not sure what will be required of me, maybe presentations and appearances.”
“I’m right there with you, Sweetheart, whatever helps you with your mission,” I said. “We’ve supported one another with our writing careers from the get-go—my memoir would not have been possible without you.” I leaned forward again. “God willing, I’ll find a publisher for Wisdom Builds Her House this year.” My third reason for choosing wisdom for 2022.
“I think you will—it’s time. We also want to continue to grow as a couple this year.” He winked, and I smiled shyly as I always do when he’s playful.
“Growing in intimacy is a given,” I said, thinking about wisdom and how purposeful, opportunistic, and tenacious one must be to grow.
This morning, we woke to the sound of sleet pinging against our bedroom windows. Our champagne glasses have been put away. The poinsettia we donated to the church for Christmas display now graces our coffee table, with snow in the background covering the deck.
It’s back to work—on Wisdom.
Get updates via email
Join my mailing list to receive posts delivered to your inbox.
Your personal information is safe and will never be shared.