Posts Tagged ‘Fenelon’

Wise stuff is good stuff.

Last night I thought of all the good mayors in Mexico who have been murdered in the drug wars. Wow, tough their families and their towns.

Today I found myself fascinated by the ebook publishing phenomena. We read differently now, on Kindles and Nooks and ipads, and so I must think differently as a reader, a print consumer and a writer.

I love to notice it, life, the changes, and think about how to respond.

It comes to me more and more, that to be wise is to realize that nothing in life is unworthy of my attention. Nothing is mere background. Everything qualifies as meriting focus.

I ache for it. All who want to know do  —  new experiences, fresh observations, other interpretations, possible theories, startling conclusions, needed disambiguations of the everyday and familiar and miraculous too.

Wise acknowledges it all, the supernatural and the  human.

The other day a college aged girl told me that she eventually dumped all boys because they simply, in the end, didn’t measure up to her high standards. She said it, then said she didn’t want to be like that anymore.

Why? She realized that her perfectionism was sabotaging perfectly good opportunities for friendships. Bingo. Get wiser, be more tolerant.

In the 17th Century Fenelon had this figured out, noting that perfection is the only thing perfectly tolerant of imperfection. Whoohoo! Good! Nice!  People so misjudge the judgments of the ultimate judge by thinking him mainly judgmental in nature.

And the  wise girl get it as she  is interested it all,  in shadows on her backyard fence and in the shadowy projection of her own desire to be perfect onto others.  A trophy boyfriend; the secure woman doesn’t need it.

Here is the deal; to get wise  is to get fascinated with oneself and everything within ones imperfect realm.

Eugene Peterson, in his introduction to the wisdom literature of The Message  version of the Bible comments that “Wisdom insists that, “nothing in human experience can be omitted or slighted.”

So wisdom literature, the psalms and proverbs, take on all topics and all particulars that wisdom can think of.  Wisdom is fascinated by both the large idea of  science and by the small observation of the micro-hairs on the bottle fly’s feet.

Peterson observes that this comprehensive perspective on life is the content of the Biblical psalms. “The Psalm are indiscriminate in their subject matter — complaint and thanks, doubt and anger, outcries of pain and outbursts of joy, quiet reflection and boisterous worship. If it is human, it qualifies.”

Beautiful, neutral, ugly, all of it, yes!

If it is human, it qualifies for a psalm, for a proverb, for a second look, for inclusion into the canon of what is spiritual.

Jesus turned water into wine at Cana. The supernatural coexisted with the mundane. It was a miracle of a most everyday and normal kind, for as C. S. Lewis has pointed out, in the fields grapes left begin to turn into wine naturally.

Do we want to be wise, to traffic daily in wise stuff? Then we must reject nothing as unworthy of thought, hope, redemption, promise.

Think broadly and beyond.