Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sirach 34:9-12

Just two days after Easter and I'm writing again. Why? Patterns. For anyone who has seen the new Kiefer Sutherland series called Touch, you know that the premise is that Sutherland's character is a single father whose wife died on 9/11 and whose son has never said a word. But in the first episode they communicate through numbers for the first time and subsequent episodes continue the theme. One of the supporting characters tells Sutherland that when his son sees numbers they reveal the world.

Well, yesterday I had a bit of inspiration. A student of mine (yay for Isadora) defended her dissertation. It was the third defense I'd attended in the past month. For two of the students I was either the student's advisor or co-advisor. Both students whom I had an advisor (rather than simply committee member) role for defended on the 9th day of the month. When I added Isadora's final defense to the list of those I'd attended I noticed 3/9/12 and 4/9/12. Combining those, I thought of 34912. (Of course there are other combinations, but that easily translates into 34:9-12). There are not many books of the Bible with 34 chapters. I looked in Psalms--no good. I then looked to other books of wisdom (only fitting as it was two PhD students whose defenses inspired me to look this up) and turned to Sirach. For my Protestant friends, Sirach is one of those "Catholic only" books. What does Sirach 34:9-12 say? Here:

A much-traveled person knows many things; and one with much experience speaks sense.
An inexperienced person knows little, 

whereas with travel one adds to resourcefulness.
I have seen much in my travels, and learned more than I could ever say.

What does this say to me?  It shows the importance of experience.  It shows the importance of going out into the world and participating.  It shows the importance of becoming resourceful.

It says, "Live a little!"  It say, "Don't hide."  It makes me think of the story of the talents.  It makes me think of how I learn.  It makes me think of the difference between running a road or trail and running on a treadmill.  It makes me think of the difference between running alone and running with others.  It makes me think of everything a person can do to gain experience.  To gain insight.  To gain from being different places doing different things with different people.  It makes me think of how being inexperienced can be constricting and limiting.

Of course, everyone is inexperienced before they are experienced.  The key for me is to maximize my opportunities for experience and to attempt to learn from every one of them.  

Learn things that will help in my continued physical development or health.
Learn things that will help in my continued spiritual development and well being.
Learn things that will help me to continue to grow.
Learn things that will continue to help be to become everything God sent me here to become.

The opportunities are there for me to take.  If I do not take them and do not gain the wisdom that is there for the taking it is my own fault.   

But if I take every opportunity that is presented, I truly hope that I can someday utter the last line speaking truthfully--that all my experiences will have taught me more than I could ever say.  

No comments:

Post a Comment