February 08, 2021

Wide Ranging

 Before we dive into this week's devotion, did you see that registration is open for the Grace in the Meadow quilt along? You can register here.

Devotion for the Week...

I don't remember the context of the conversation, but I remember my dad once saying to a much younger me, "You should know everything about something and something about everything." That life philosophy really appeals to me, since I've always been curious about a lot of subjects. I love to read a little about this and a little about that, but sometimes I also love to really immerse myself in a subject.

Growing up, I wanted to be a writer. I spent hours reading about the art of writing well and more hours reading about the writing habits of writers I admired. I could talk to you about the importance of varying sentence length and structure, the value of using simple, everyday words rather than fancy-sounding ones (I despise the word utilize. Just say use!) and countless tips for getting started or powering through writer's block. Though I'm not the bestselling fantasy novelist I once envisioned, I do think those hours learning about writing have served me well in this space 😊

I'm sure I questioned the value of things I had to learn in school, echoing so many others who have asked, "When will I need this in real life?" I've heard it from my own boys, too, and not actually been able to give them an example of when they would need whatever it was they were complaining about. Even so, I don't think I've ever regretted learning something. 

All of that is to explain why I smiled when I read recently about King Solomon's wide ranging knowledge. King Solomon is said to have been the wisest man who ever lived, but I've always associated his wisdom with being about kingly things. How to run a kingdom, how to judge fairly, how to lead others...that sort of thing. Then I read 1 Kings 4:29-33:

"God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore. In fact, his wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men of the East and the wise men of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite and the sons of Mahol—Heman, Calcol, and Darda. His fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations. He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, small creatures, and fish."

As king, Solomon probably didn't need to know about the tiny hyssop plant. He probably didn't need to know much about animals, birds and fish, either. And yet we're told that he could speak with authority about these things. That means he had a deep, working knowledge of them, not that he could spout a couple of random facts while pretending he knew what he was talking about. It sounds to me like God gave Solomon wisdom and a healthy desire to keep learning about the world around him. It also sounds remarkably like Solomon followed the same advice my dad gave me!
God gave us the ability to think and learn. Are we using it? | DevotedQuilter.com
God gave us the ability to think and learn. He also created a wondrous, complex and fascinating world, which ensures we will never run out of things to learn. Are we using our God-given ability to learn? Are we cultivating a wide ranging knowledge? On what subjects could you speak with authority? What subjects capture your attention so you want to delve deeper into them, spending hours soaking up every tidbit you can?

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