A letter to my son : Find wisdom
A repository of thoughts and longings for my son, and indeed anyone else to whom this maybe be helpful.
Son, today we celebrate your birthday. How thankful I am to God for you. Being a father is a blessing, and for me, being your father is an honour that I take very seriously. I have so much to say to you, and I cannot wait for that time when we can have those man to man talks. In the meantime, I hope these occasional letters will form a repository of my thoughts and prayers for you as you grow to be the man God has created you to be. My prayer for you today and for all the years to come is that you will grow to find your full identity in God and to live a full life, no matter how long or short in years, fully defined by who God is and how he has made you in his image.
Wisdom is valuable
Now son, I have many things to say and I pray God will grant us many more years together, to learn, to laugh, and to lean on each other as we together explore what it means to be godly men. Today, on this special day of yours, I wish to speak to you about wisdom. Many people desire to be wise and that is not a bad thing. In fact, the Bible exhorts us to seek wisdom :
“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honour.”
Proverbs 3:13-16 ESV.
The writer of Job reminds us that the value of wisdom even surpasses that of the most precious stones like gold, rubies and topaz ( Job 28: 15-19). Son, the point is this, wisdom is valuable. You cannot afford to live without it.
Wisdom is elusive
Having said that, the tough reality is that wisdom is elusive, it is hard to find. You see son, mankind has some great skills and the progress in technology and industrial development is a testimony to that. Today, we carry more information in our pockets than a whole country had a century ago, all because of the mobile phone and internet. A basic smartphone today has more processing power than the Apollo Guidance Computer which landed the first man on the moon in 1969. I cannot even imagine what capabilities will the mobile phone have when the time will come for you to get your first one.
Son, think about this for a moment. Have human beings become wiser with all the advance in technology? Are human beings living more fulfilling lives now compared to 50 years ago? I am afraid the answer is no. Many people today still have no idea how to live. Depression and anxiety are at an all time high. Marriages and other relationships have not become any better. Yes, we have seen incredible advance in technology and education, but still wisdom eludes us (Job 28:12). You see son, as you grow up, there are many things that will demand your time, energy and mental strength. Prioritise wisdom!. Yes, even above wealth and other things that life may offer as valuable.
True wisdom is fearing God
You see son, the first step towards finding wisdom is accepting that we don't have it. The writer of Job 28 goes to great lengths to show us that . As I write this, some of the richest and most powerful man on the planet are talking about opening up holiday trips to the moon. The search for life in other planets has been intensified with the fear that one day we may render this earth uninhabitable and find ourselves in need of another planet. I don't know what else will man pull out , but the Bible tells us that our knowledge is limited. We cannot understand everything about our world. We are not in control.
So, if we are to be truly wise, we need someone with comprehensive knowledge and understanding. The good news is that God has that knowledge and understanding. He is the one who made the whole universe ( Job 28:23-26) . He designed and measured everything. What science only does is to discover in the incredible complexities of God’s world from the smallest cell in our body, to the billions of galaxies which make our gigantic universe. I know they will bring this up in science classes at school but think about it son, honestly the credit should go to the maker not the scientist who only discovered what has been made. More about this in another letter. The point here is that God is the only one who possess wisdom. Hear this words from Job 28:
““God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. When he gave to the wind its weight and apportioned the waters by measure, when he made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder,”
Job 28:23-26 ESV
No matter how much advance humanity will make in physics, medicine or robotics, none of that will change the fact that our knowledge is limited. Son, to be truly wise then, is to accept that fact and to turn to him who is truly wise. To turn to the maker, not only of the world we live in, but the maker of us all, God.
I know you may ask “ how do you do that?”. Job 28 tells us that we do this by fearing God, which is the appropriate response when we realise our limitations and yet we see the immeasurable wisdom and power of God, who made the whole universe from nothing. Now, make no mistake son, this fear is not about being scared of God so that you want to run or hide. No, this is a kind of fear that leaves you in awe, compelled to honour and respect him. It is a fear that leads us to shun evil and seek good. That is only possible through Jesus who is the wisdom of God. More about this in the future letters son.
"then he saw it and declared it;
he established it, and searched it out.
And he said to man,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding."