I was 24 years old...and I couldn't wait to reach 40. I was on a mission and so I was gunning for 40 and counting it down.
Why? Why would I care about being 40 when I had a good 16 years worth of living to do before that? It really wasn't 40 I was after, more so what I thought 40 represented, according to my philosophy professor.
It all started back in seminary, when I was sitting in my philosophy class: Metaphysics.
To be clear, metaphysics in it's original meaning is the discipline within philosophy that discusses the ideas of: being, time, space, substance cause.
(Not to be confused with the modern day notion of crystals, and spirituality).
And so my professor in his teachings quotes either Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, or maybe it was Plato...regardless...I heard the following:
"One should not begin to study the metaphysics before 40 because they have nothing to bring to the discussion."
Well, hell, I wanted to bring something to "the discussion." And so my quest for 40 began. In all reality it really wasn't 40 that I wanted so much as Wisdom.
The book of Proverbs, chapter 4 speaks of Wisdom, and getting it at all costs. The bible is telling me to "get some" and I was all over that. So my quest for Wisdom would culminate when I turned 40 for I would have enough wisdom to talk of the deep things of life.
It's funny though as I look back on 40, and see that I have accumulated lots of experience...some wisdom, yes, but more experience.
I think of all those who have a ton of experience and no wisdom. And that brings me to the missing element.
Wisdom is the ability to reflect and make sense of one's experience in light of who God created you to be, who you want to be, and how others perceive you.
Wisdom is being able to apply knowledge, and experience to effectively.
It is distinguishing between concepts like "nice" and "kind" or "being right" vs "being effective."
Wisdom is elusive, and does not give in easily, rather it is obtained by perseverance, diligence, and intentionality.
You must fight for it, desire it, sacrifice for it and hold fast to it when it comes to you.
Over the years I've done a ton of reflection..."too much" as some have told me. But I wouldn't change that for the world.
To seek wisdom, take time to reflect on your experience. Make this a daily habit. Look over what you did well, and what you could have done better. Look at it emotionless, without judgement, without shame or guilt.
For the next 3 days, take inventory of your experiences. Notice. Be aware of them. Even go too the extreme of writing it down. Not judgement, no shame, no guilt, just notice... You'll be amazed at what you discover about your self and the world. Let me know what you discover.