A life that is big and wise, one cup at a time

By Jeff Smith
Special to The PREVIEW

A man once walked by a building site and saw three stonemasons side by side, sweating over their work in the hot sun.

He asked the first, “What are you doing?”

“Laying bricks,” he grunted.

He asked the second stonemason, “And what are you doing?”

“Building a wall,” he sighed.

Then he asked the third mason, “And what is it you are doing?”

The man looked up. “I am raising a great cathedral.”

I am thinking of this story this morning as I am in the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, one of the books of wisdom.

I am learning, I hope, how to become a wiser person. I am now in chapter eight, coffee cup in hand, reading this speech by a figure called Wisdom, who is speaking to us as her children. The speech is about how God made the concept of Wisdom in the first place and then used it to create the world:

“The Lord made me (Wisdom) as the start of his way, the first of his works in the past. From eternal days I was given my place, from the birth of time, before the earth was. When there was no deep I was given birth, when there were no fountains flowing with water. Before the mountains were put in their places, before the hills was my birth: When he had not made the earth or the fields or the dust of the world.

“When he made ready the heavens I was there: when he put an arch over the face of the deep: When he made strong the skies overhead: when the fountains of the deep were fixed: When he put a limit to the sea, so that the waters might not go against his word: when he put in position the bases of the earth:

“Then I was by his side, as a master workman: and I was his delight from day to day, playing before him at all times; Playing in his earth; and my delight was with the sons of men.

“Give ear to me then, my sons: for happy are those who keep my ways.” — Proverbs 8:22-32.

You gotta admit, this would look good on a resume, when Wisdom applies for her next job:

“Prior Work Experience: Worked with God to create the world. Expert world-maker in my own right.

“Period of last employment: Hard to tell. Was on-staff before time began.

“Accomplishments: Helped to achieve firm placement for land masses, clear limits for sea movement, and proper depth for the sky to allow plant, animal growth.

“Strengths: Work well with supreme being and all peoples of the earth. Work and play are the same for me, I enjoy what I do so much.

“Career goals: To achieve complete world safety. Will focus efforts on people now, helping them to manage themselves and the world better.”

I think she would get hired.

And this is the lesson. A wise person sees a big, happy, hopeful picture of life, one that invites him or her to be part of an ancient process creating a better world, working with God and with people, seeing the good I do as a small part of a project that is very, very big.

My blog: www.want2Bwise.blogspot.com.

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This story was posted on July 3, 2013.