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Who is the coolest person in your family?

Well, today it has got to be mom, because it’s Mother’s Day.

I’ve told you before about my crazy mom, the one we found doing basket weaving in our above ground pool because that way she could keep the reeds wet without having to bend over and hurt her back.

As I was clearing out some stuff in the office the other day, I found some of the stuff my mom had hung onto over the years. 

In it was a letter a letter from Headquarters, Battlefield Surveillance Department, Army Electronic Proving Ground at Fort Huachuca, Arizona from January 30, 1956. 

The signatory was Lieutenant Coronal S. H. Webster, who noted, “I unhesitatingly recommend Mrs. Farley to anyone requiring the services of a superior secretary, particularly in a situation requiring tact, cheerfulness, willingness, and initiative.”

I must say, she was cool! 

How about the wisest? 

Quite possible also mom, although in some families it might be someone else. Nana or Aunt Katie, or someone like that?

All of it, of course, begs the question, what exactly is wisdom? 

And how does one become the wisest?

In the Wednesday night bible study two weeks ago, we were wrestling with that word, because the scripture often talks about wisdom.

And it turns out that in the group there were a couple of different definitions. Some of them might have been right out of King Solomon’s mouth.

Because you remember, that is the gift Solomon had asked for from God. 

I Kings 4:29-34 says, “29Solomon was brilliant. God had blessed him with insight and understanding. 30-31 He was wiser than anyone else in the world, including the wisest people of the east and of Egypt. He was even wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Mahol's three sons, Heman, Calcol, and Darda. Solomon became famous in every country around Judah and Israel.”

“32 Solomon wrote 3,000 wise sayings and composed more than 1,000 songs. 33 He could talk about all kinds of plants, from large trees to small bushes, and he taught about animals, birds, reptiles, and fish. 34 Kings all over the world heard about Solomon's wisdom and sent people to listen to him teach.”

On the other hand, my definition of wisdom is “the stuff you have learned by making mistakes”.

Touch a hot stove. Drop your cell phone in the toilet. Forget to pay a bill on time. Miss with the hammer while holding the nail.
Wisdom, I think, is the stuff that makes clear to you that while there are all kinds of ways to think about things - some choices, some actions have consequences - potentially very painful ones.

And wisdom then allows you to try things and do things aware that in some cases some choices are potentially trips to the emergency room -metaphorically - as well as actually. 

Wisdom allows you to see the world through the eyes of the experienced. 

And, for today’s conversation, wisdom also allows you to become humble. 

Because you discover in some really remarkable ways that you are not in charge of this world!

A note that Mary, the mother of Jesus, also makes in her words of praise upon learning of God’s decision that she will be the human mother of God’s son.

She makes clear that it is God who has provided for her, God that has sustained her, God who has protected her, and God who has now chosen her.

It’s not all about Mary. 

But it is always about the God who is with Mary!

And that my friends is the biggest bit of wisdom ever!

It’s not about us; it’s all about God.

All about the God whom Mary and we worship and serve!

Understanding her relationship with God allows Mary to be wise, and therefore humble. She is not in charge. She is gifted, talented, loving, caring, but not at all at the center of her universe.

So, is it any surprise at all, that her son Jesus is also humble!

He too knows this God who has provided for him, sustained him, protected him, the very God who has chosen him.

It turns out humility is a family characteristic!

And it is a characteristic of those who see themselves as God sees them, as wonderful, talented, caring and most importantly loved by God.

Being humble in this world is hard. 

But for those who follow Jesus, it is possible. 

Give it a try.