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A wealth of knowledge

A wealth of knowledge

What's the next best thing to knowing an answer?

Knowing someone with the answer.  I suppose you might say, “A web search!”  But this is better, for a knowledgeable friend tailors the answer to exactly what you need to learn.

I have such a friend.  My son and I drove over seven hours to spend a few days with him.  We both love to be on a walk with him in the woods, listening to his discourse on the natural world around us, waiting for the little spotlights he puts on plants and birds along the way.

Take, for instance, this sweet fern above, which was used by Native Americans as deworming medicine.  Or this silverrod below, which, I suppose, in the Olympics of wildflowers, has placed second behind its cousin, the goldenrod.  I didn’t know such a bloom existed until he told me.

Scott, my friend, is like a walking nature encyclopedia.  He can supply the name (including the Latin) and peculiarities of virtually every plant, tree, fungus, bird and insect we come across.  But he also can put these into context – often telling the dire stories of challenges the flora and fauna face.

I have come to see this frequently grim context as a part of the knowledge imparted.  It’s not enough to know names of things.  I need to understand interconnectedness.  And implications.

As I walk behind Scott and my son, my mind turns to Christ.  Paul tells us that Jesus is the one…

 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  (Colossians 2:3)

He is like a storehouse of all the truth we will ever need.  But it’s not that knowledge alone is the goal.  Like the Gnostics that Paul was countering in Colossae, we are not to stockpile hidden knowledge to fund our spiritual pride – as if some secret word in Greek or Hebrew makes us one of the insider spiritual elites.

Jesus gives us knowledge.  But he also supplies wisdom: the practical use of the knowledge.  He wants us to grasp the implications of spiritual truth in our lives.

So, like our woodland ramble, I imagine Christ walking with me throughout the day.   I would love for him to stop, point to the personal interaction before me, and say, “What we have here is what is commonly called Talk-in-the-Market (schedulia interruptus).  Take the time to truly listen.  There’s something important in this.”

James 1:5 reminds me that I can have this wisdom, if only I would ask for it.  And writing this blog has taught me that Jesus very much wants to be such an involved companion on my ramble through each day.  He supplies not only the awareness of situations around me, but the framework for how to respond rightly to them.

I have a friend with a storehouse of wisdom, ready to share it.

Am I ready to listen?

Lord, we want to tune into your voice.  We want to receive your wisdom.  We want your knowledge of the world around us, and the spiritual context to go with it.  Remind us to listen to you throughout today.

Reader: Tell me about a time recently when Jesus interrupted your day with applied wisdom.  Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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