“What is wisdom?” my eight-year-old nephew asked. His mom and I shared a “who’s going to answer this one” look and then together gave our best effort at describing, in kid terms, “accumulated philosophic or scientific learning; the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships; and good sense”. I spoke of knowing the difference between right and wrong and one of us mentioned consequences. At that, the little deep-thinker piped up and volunteered that consequences are outcomes from choices you make.
Indeed. And when we reflect on those outcomes of our behaviour, we gain opportunity to grow in wisdom.
The conversation reminded me of an email I received from the Imago Dei ministry. The author, Rob DeCotes, suggests this:
Consider the following Awareness Examen as applied to your spiritual growth over the past twelve months:
This encouragement for spiritual stock-taking has been profoundly helpful to me as these questions prompt me to harvest wisdom by reflecting on events and experiences from this past year. Also, by giving prayerful thought to my answers, I am challenged to look at adjustments I can make for the months ahead.
This method resonates with me as a question-asking coach. I have found that revisiting the ways God has grown, challenged, and taught me inspires me to press on. Having concrete questions helps inform and direct my thinking.
I trust that you will find the exercise encouraging as well.
With love and gratitude,
This post was originally published for my CaringBridge readers to start 2015. I believe the questions are a valuable way to begin each new year.
In The Midst