Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wisdom Listens

The past two weeks have been busier than usual, with long hours. Even though it was only a four day week because of the holiday last weekend I was so looking forward to Friday. When I finally left the office in which I spent Friday afternoon, I urged the other stragglers to leave as I bid them farewell with a sense of joyful anticipation.

Today I did a bit of this and a bit of that--talking on the phone to family, folding laundry, digging in the dirt and pulling weeds--a spot of shopping too. Then finally as the twilight gathered, I stepped out with my golden boy for a walk.

The air outside the house was cooling down, but the moisture in the air still clung to us.

I considered how Christmassy Molson looked, with his mismatched red collar and green leash--like a reindeer that had showed up for the wrong seasonal celebration. But he was happily oblivious. He cared only for sniffing the trail, and he did it, nose to the ground, with the concentration of a forensic detective.

My senses were immediately saturated to the point of intoxication. The air was heavy with the scent of blossom, mostly lilac. I thought that this must surely be how heaven smells.

Birds chirped and chirruped their evening settling songs and from across the fields came the raucous cries of a flock of geese. Hydro wires hummed, and a ball bounced in a dark driveway--a boy taking the day to the edge of night.

I pondered a phrase that a friend had left on my answering machine this week: Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens. Four words with a lot of meat behind them.

I turned them over and over in my mind, this way and that, thinking of how they could be interpreted:

If knowledge speaks it is wisdom to listen.

"Knowledge" speaks, but "Wisdom" listens.

I thought of the fight for independence of small children and then teens; the necessary pushing back against parents without which there would be no separate identity formed. Their struggle is as necessary as that of a beautiful butterfly in order for it to emerge from the cocoon.

But true maturity realizes that in listening there is wisdom and wisdom to be gained. I am still learning to listen well, and fail often.

The twilight had turned to deep dusk by the time we turned into our road. I unclipped Molson's leash and he waited expectantly for me to fold it so that he could take it in his mouth. He loves to trot the last leg of the walk, proudly carrying his leash, free of constraint. As we crossed a parking lot and neared the edge of the street though, I called for him to stop. He did.

Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.
I love it.

James 1:19 (New International Version)
19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,


Kimberley Payne said...

Belinda, you have such a wonderful way with words. I could almost smell the lilac tree myself!
And a great message that leaves me wanting to go for a walk and meditate on it further myself.

Belinda said...

Thank you Kim--Soli Deo Gloria!

I am gearing up for my fitness post on Fit for Faith. I haven't forgotten. :)

Olson Family said...

"...a boy taking the day to the edge of night..." Beautiful wording. Beautiful imagery!! I could smell the lilacs, the fragrant evening air, visualize your sweet dog, imagine you mulling over "knowledge speaks, wisdom listens." Your words touch me and inspire me!

I immediately wrote those four profound words on a sticky note and put them on my wall next to my computer. I, too, will mull them over. Listening -- a necessary discipline that happened to be the topic of conversation tonight during family dinner.

Thank you!!!

Marilyn said...

Thanks. You've reminded me that intentional listening IS doing something.