The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[ wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7, NIV
Wisdom: The ability to see through the details to the big picture, add a measure of God’s perspective, and then apply both back to the details.
I’ve been thinking about this question for the past few weeks now: How does a person get wisdom? If wisdom is something that isn’t Divinely granted to the lucky few but is actually available to all to chase it, then I want to know how to do that! How do I acquire more wisdom? We pursue wisdom through lots of channels:
- The Bible (primary source)
- Prayer and time listening to God
- Books – ALL KINDS of books
- listening to experts
- Reflection and time to think
- Being around other people who share the pursuit of wisdom
Today I want to add something else to the list: time with people who are ‘ahead’ of me. I’m always looking for those who have always traveled the path I’m trying to walk right now. They have made mistakes I can avoid; learned shortcuts I can’t see; and discovered a more effective way to succeed. Of course, you have to be a little judicious in finding these people, and not all of them will share their learning with you. But when I find someone who will, I jump at the chance to have their wisdom rub off on me.
This week, me and 12 other people from PCC’s staff traveled to Abingdon, Va, to visit with the staff of Highlands Fellowship. HF is a multisite church with 6 locations and is about twice as big as PCC. They’re far enough ahead of us to know lots of things we don’t. But they’re not so far ahead of us as to be un-relatable.
Allen Jessee, the Senior Pastor at HF, has become a good friend of mine. Allen and his team are incredibly generous. They insisted that they put us up for 2 nights and provide our meals for us. They took valuable time from several staff members to lead us in worship, share their journey, tell us what they’ve learned – including what they’ve not gotten right, give us all kinds of information, answer a thousand questions, and then offer to provide any support they could, including giving us anything they had created!
The days were long, but the trip was incredibly fruitful. We learned so much and we left having gained wisdom. Because we were in the presence of wisdom and wisdom rubs off. And because wisdom only comes when you go get it!