by Rev. Jeff Gannon, Senior Pastor
Every day I pray for wisdom. I learned from the Psalms the importance of praying for wisdom. The Psalms has a perspective I embrace. I can do everything I can such as study, research, listen, and learn and the by product will be knowledge. The Psalms are individually and corporately adamant that wisdom is a gift from God. God can give us wisdom in our seeking of knowledge but the Psalmists have come to the conclusion that only God ultimately gives wisdom. I have known very wise persons who do not have a lot of knowledge and I have a lot of persons who have a lot of knowledge and not much wisdom. There are very few who have an abundance of both. It is not that wisdom and knowledge are mutually exclusive. They are, in fact, two sides to the same coin, if you will. Wisdom, if you and I listen well to the Psalms, is a gift of the Holy Spirit for those who take the spiritual life seriously.
Therefore, for the next several weeks, I want to share wisdom with you. I know it is presumptuous for me to name something as wise. But wisdom is like the color green. You know it when you see it. It is like the taste of chocolate ice cream. Very difficult to describe but you know it when you experience it.
A pastor, for whom I have tremendous respect, Jim Jackson, recently retired. He has begun to take Scripture, life experience, professional perspective, and a whole lot of pondering to create a set of “laws.” These are not legalistic practices but principles upon which God has created this earth. Just like the law of gravity, there are spiritual laws at work in this universe and Jesus was always speaking about them using the language of the Kingdom of God. This is how God has arranged this world to work at its best and reality is, as Dallas Willard says, what we run up against when we are wrong.
“Do you Need a Mission?”
The law of wholeness: A dog that’s chasing a rabbit ain’t got time to worry about fleas.
When my Uncle Charlie was in his early 80’s he started building a new house – a total solar energy home – one of the first built in Georgia.
I peppered him with questions about the new venture: “Why are you doing this? What’s wrong with your current dwelling? Do you expect to live long enough to justify the expense and recover your investment? How much do you know about building total solar energy houses?”
My uncle answered with a single statement: “A dog that’s chasing a rabbit ain’t got time to worry about fleas.” I understood immediately why he was building the new house.
My uncle had a raft of chronic health issues. There were many things about his life that were not ideal. The tasks he had given his life to no longer call for his attention. He needed a rabbit to chase, a mission to undertake, so that he would not spend his time and energy focused on flees that nagged at him.
Each of us has stubborn, unyielding problems that must be cared for regularly and responsibly. But when fleas become the central, defining issues in our life we become unhealthy, unproductive, and uninteresting people.
Life is way too short to focus on the fleas. What rabbit are you chasing? Most importantly, why?