My husband, Bob, is a (soon-to-be emeritus) biology professor at our small local college. He has always been so good about his availability to his students, not only with posted office hours, but also by allowing students to call our home with questions prior to the next day’s test.
His classes are difficult; it is, after all, college. In the study of biology, there are things so tiny, one needs to learn to use a microscope effectively, as well as learn exactly what you’re looking for, distinguishing that from all the other crud swimming around on the glass slide.
At the same time, The Prof likes to have some fun in class, and his sense of humor can’t stay in the background for long. One year on the day of the final exam, he dressed up like Darth Vadar and came strolling down the hallway to a group of students waiting outside the classroom door.
You couldn’t miss him if you tried…
Likewise, I’m impressed with the availability and exposure of wisdom expressed in this eighth chapter of Proverbs. I really think it’s more than mere poetic personification.
“Listen as Wisdom calls out!
Hear as understanding raises her voice!”
It goes on to innumerate all the v-e-r-y public access points where wisdom seeks us out: on the hill, along the highway, at the crossroads, by the town’s entrance…
“I call to you, to all of you!
I raise my voice to all people…
The operative word is “all”. There is no discrimination here. Which is really quite interesting, considering this was written by a man in an extremely male-dominated society, and a Jewish man where any non-Jew was considered less than necessary.
“I love all who love me.
Those who search will surely find me…
The end of the chapter shows a different aspect, however. Instead of wisdom searching for me, I’m the one who is waiting and watching for wisdom—
Joyful are those who listen to me,
watching for me daily at my gates,
waiting for me outside my home!
All of this brings to mind a cooperative effort between the teacher (Wisdom) and the student (me). Wisdom makes herself available; sheesh, she even gives me her home phone number! (Prayer.) At the same time, I have some personal responsibility. This is, after all, “college”, and a good student is expected to grow up.
I can be confident, however, that when I put my eye to microscope, (because, let’s face it, some things I need to see in life take more than a little magnification to figure out), Wisdom will be leaning over my shoulder for correct identification, bringing things into proper focus.
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.”
Easy to see or situations more challenging, either way, Wisdom is available; it’s a promise from a good Teacher. (With or without the cape.)
Proverbs 8:1,4,7,29,30;34; James 1:5 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.