Wisdom isn’t something we find on aisle eight, next to the vitamins and laxatives. It is as elusive as a hummingbird, and as misunderstood as the laughter of a child. Frankly, I doubt if anyone ever really finds it, although many of us, one time or another, have stood in its awe inspiring shadow.
We also over-prepare for it, disbelieve it, pray for it and feel damned because of it. All in all, there is never anything smart about attaining it – just a resolve, which will prove that indeed something mattered… us.
As a policeman, my father believed in being prepared, so growing up every car had a flashlight, blanket, bag of hard candy and a container for water. He also had a sense of humor, which was why my Lets Make a Deal purse caused him to laugh with its portable saw, teddy bear, paper clips, drink mixes and hammer. What the heck … I was raised to be prepared for anything after all.
What I wasn’t prepared for, and neither was he, was that mile marker in the road, which eventually stands between us and our life. I believe that marker shows up in lieu of wisdom for many of us, to remind us where we have been, what we have said and done, the trinkets we have accumulated, and the souls we have touched. Standing on that road, we can never be sure if there are miles to go before we sleep, if there will be frost or sunshine the next day, or if we will ever matter again. That determination, however, is wisdom, and it begs to be respected, forever resonating in our heart if we get it right.
No one in life gets out alive as the saying goes, however, what we get from it is important, and how we share and see it in others is vital. My father enjoyed life like cherries in a fruit cup; he laughed and smiled, and for the most part never took anything too seriously. As I matured I found that odd and hurried along my adult life, taking everything serious, making notes, picking up souvenirs, and was always trying to understand the why and why not, all before the sun went down. I can say at this point I should have stayed his course, because he knew what he was doing. He also left this life past ninety years of age, in a deep sleep with his left arm outstretched, because I believe in my heart he was holding the hand of Jesus.
Each day is an accumulation of hours and events, which we share with countless others, interacting and avoiding. We are physically and emotionally challenged, while hoping we did it right, without ever understanding why we did it in the first place. My personal epiphany on said journey to wisdom, came after living the first of several years alone, without having someone in my life on a moment-to-moment basis. That was when I realized no photo, childhood toy, musical selection or food was going to make a difference in the outcome. You see, the sun went down and came back up, and would have done the same thing if I was here or not. Yes, I had reached Mile Marker Mine. There it was… all that mattered…it was the road I was on and not the road I had traveled.
Wisdom is about knowing, and being prepared is a wonderful concept to keeps us sane, but it really has nothing to do with the outcome. Having a wool blanket and flashlight might be great, but they won’t matter if we end up on a sunny beach. The spiritual preparation is in who we are, how we accept and better the day before it ends, and how we face any others that follow. Yes, life is a very intense one act play, and what is behind our words as we act through the hours, and the intensity behind our movements, is ultimately what prepares someone for the next day. The wisdom however, is in pausing, trying for balance, and praying that next day will be equal or better.
So, go ahead and mark each day, maybe even mark your time, but emotionally be sure and mark the moment you lived, rather than wondering if you mattered. It will be a very wise decision in the end.