Good Morning Brothers and Happy New Year…
The cold has set in and the placement of my gloves overnight has become very important. When I forget them in my truck the ache of my fingers reminds of every broken bone, every stitch, every saw blade that came to close. I was driving back from Dodge City over the holidays and found myself staring at the windmill generators. My eye automatically noticed the ones which were not turning. “Worthless” I thought to myself. Then I noticed a couple windmills which were rotating in the opposite direction of all of their brethren. “Completely Busted” I thought. Then I began to think about all of the political arguments about wind generators and my mind focused on their worth…or lack of worth depending on the context of the conversation. Economically, they are worthless. They do not even pay for themselves let alone make money. Environmentally, they have worth. They do reduce the amount of energy we pull from coal or other fossil fuels. Then I thought about their sheer size and came to regard them as “bold”. Under the scrutiny of everyone else, they stand boldly and do their job. Unless they are “worthless” or “completely busted” which means they stand boldly in their “absurdity”.
I know, right now you guys are thinking, “Dude, you should really get a radio in that truck!”
The windmills made me think about the Church, standing boldly together, acting in unison, doing our job, even though the world looks upon us with scorn. This reflective time made me think about myself, the new year, my upcoming schedule, family stuff and my ever shifting relationship with God Almighty. I can do better, I can be better, I can live more boldly. All of this brought me to this chapter from some early wisdom literature entitled the ‘Book of Sirach’.
1 All wisdom comes from the LORD and with him it remains forever.
2 The sand of the seashore, the drops of rain, the days of eternity: who can number these?
3 Heaven’s height, earth’s breadth, the depths of the abyss: who can explore these?
4 Before all things else wisdom was created; and prudent understanding, from eternity.
5 To whom has wisdom’s root been revealed? Who knows her subtleties?
6 There is but one, wise and truly awe-inspiring, seated upon his throne:
7 It is the LORD; he created her, has seen her and taken note of her.
8 He has poured her forth upon all his works,
upon every living thing according to his bounty; he has lavished her upon his friends.
9 Fear of the LORD is glory and splendor, gladness and a festive crown.
10 Fear of the LORD warms the heart, giving gladness and joy and length of days.
11 He who fears the LORD will have a happy end; even on the day of his death he will be blessed.
12 The beginning of wisdom is fear of the LORD, which is formed with the faithful in the womb.
13 With devoted men was she created from of old, and with their children her beneficence abides.
14 Fullness of wisdom is fear of the LORD; she inebriates men with her fruits.
15 Her entire house she fills with choice foods, her granaries with her harvest.
16 Wisdom’s garland is fear of the LORD, with blossoms of peace and perfect health.
17 Knowledge and full understanding she showers down; she heightens the glory of those who possess her.
18 The root of wisdom is fear of the LORD; her branches are length of days.
19 One cannot justify unjust anger; anger plunges a man to his downfall.
20 A patient man need stand firm but for a time, and then contentment comes back to him.
21 For a while he holds back his words, then the lips of many herald his wisdom.
22 Among wisdom’s treasures is the paragon of prudence;
but fear of the LORD is an abomination to the sinner.
23 If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the LORD will bestow her upon you;
24 For fear of the LORD is wisdom and culture; loyal humility is his delight.
25 Be not faithless to the fear of the LORD, nor approach it with duplicity of heart.
26 Play not the hypocrite before men; over your lips keep watch.
27 Exalt not yourself lest you fall and bring upon you dishonor;
28 For then the LORD will reveal your secrets and publicly cast you down,
29 Because you approached the fear of the LORD with your heart full of guile.
May all of our new years be blessed with learning how to fear the Lord more, by learning how to be more obedient, by learning how to stand boldly with our brethren and doing our job…and also remembering to bring our gloves inside on those cold bitter nights. God Bless you this next year.