"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Thursday, April 25, 2013

"I Mart"

Wisdom: the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight

St. Paul - First English Lutheran School
New Orleans, Louisiana (1950)

 "O Lord God, fulfill the promise you made to my father. You have made me king over a people who are so many that they cannot be counted, 10 so give me the wisdom and knowledge I need to rule over them. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?”
-2 Chronicles 1:9-10

Truth be told I'm not that smart.

I know, I know… shocker! I realize that it's boring to state the obvious, but I had to divulge this truth and put to sleep the long running "rumor" surrounding my intelligence . Let me share three examples how fragile and flimsy my intellect can be.

Example number one: when I was on my first honeymoon, yes I said first, you haven't lived until you've experienced more than one. Trust me on all of this. Anyway, it was during my first honeymoon in 1986 when I was listening to a news account of Imelda Marcos and her failure to obtain a visa. I suspect you know where I'm going with this. I remember saying to my wife: why can't Marcos get a visa? We have one and we don't even have any money; she's rich! " My wife said; "she is trying to get in the country not buy a new wardrobe." Oh, but they get better!

Example number two:
While I was a pharmaceutical rep in Jupiter, Fla. in the late 80's there was one doctor's office that really didn't care for me. I know, again, shocker. Anyway, this one cardiology office in Jupiter, where one of the nurses, a nurse that wasn't pleasant and really didn't care for sales reps, made me her number one target. I tried as much as I could to pour on the charm believing that I would soon win her over. Well, that didn't happen. Actually, the complete opposite happened. One morning when I stopped by their office, to a completely packed waiting room I might add, I tried to make small talk. I would like to take this moment and encourage as many people as I can not to try to make conversation unless you're very talented at doing so. Making small talk is an art, not a science. With that being said, as I began to open my mouth after noticing the unpleasant nurse putting away files something told me to just shut-up. I heard this tiny voice before, and I heard it more than a few times in the span of 15 seconds of standing there. As fate would have it, I didn't heed the protective advice of my internal nudging and I proceeded to ask the nurse when she was due? Oh yea, you see the picture I'm painting. Like I said; small talk is an art, not a science. As I'm sure you've surmised by now she wasn't pregnant. She wasn't even over weight. It was just the way she was standing. As I looked at her from a side view, with her nursing scrubs on, her top was billowing out like she was trying to hide a small balloon. The ensuing look that was directed my way still resides deep within my memory bank to this day. She growled her response at me like serial killer: "I'm not pregnant," she said. As I tried to explain my self it only got worse. At this point I was sweating like a prostitute in church. As I turned away from the glare of the office staff I noticed the completely full waiting room looking at me like I was trying to peddle pro-Nazi material in Israel. Needless to say, it wasn't pretty. I never went back to the office again.

Example number three: Upon graduation from Wittenberg, "Magna Cum LUCKY" as my Mom likes to say, I decided that I wanted to read many of the classics that I was "supposed" to read while in college as an English major. The first book I began with was "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky. And it was while I was reading this book in bed one night that I realized three sentences into the book that I was completely over my head. The sentence reads like this; "His garret was under the roof of a high, five-storied house and was more like a cupboard than a room." As I read that sentence I ask my wife; what is a "cup" - "board?"  Yes, you read it right. I said the word cup, as in a "cup" of coffee, and the word board, as in "backboard." My wife looked at me with astonishment and said; "it is cupboard you moron, there are a bunch of them out in the kitchen." At that point I didn't know what was more embarrassing: the fact that I could be a 22 yrs old college graduate (English major mind you) and not know how to pronounce cupboard or the fact I spent a lifetime opening and closing them in my parents kitchen and I didn't know how to spell cupboard. Even today, anytime I see that word in print I immediately go back to that fateful night in West Palm Beach in 1988 when I had to ask what a "cup-board" was. I've yet to attempt reading "Crime & Punishment" since.

I could go on and share more, like the time in my junior year at Wittenberg I took my "cliff notes" pamphlet for Don Quixote to class and sat in the front row for a literature lecture on said book. I can still see the disbelief on my professor's face. 

It was classic. 

The truth of the matter now is that I read everything from the Wall St Journal to the "classics"; "1776" to Malcolm Gladwell's book; "Outliers", and though my knowledge and intellect can be invaluably increased by engaging in this practice, and passion, it can never make me wise. Only God can provide me with wisdom. Only He can provide the type of wisdom that can sustain you in the "joys" and the "pains" of life. 

I've often said; "knowledge is knowing the right thing, but wisdom is doing the right thing." 

It's one thing to be "mart", but it's an entirely different thing to be wise.

sbb 25.4.13

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