I recently watched a video by Father Robert Barron, of Word on Fire Ministries, where he used a powerful analogy to describe the difference between faith and wisdom. He said faith is crawling on the flat land, where our perspective is limited—we see what is in front of us and next to us and sometimes above us, but our vision is often blocked by structures and people and noise. God feels like a nice idea that we hope is real, but we can’t devote much time to Him because of the buildings and the noise and the people.
Wisdom is like finding the high ground, the top of the hill, where our perspective is wide and encompassing. We can breathe. It allows us to see the connections and the reasons and the sense. It helps us understand how small and many are the pieces of the puzzle, but how important.
As I watched, my mom brain kicked in: Man we have to teach this to the kids.
I don’t know about you, but having a 9 year old and a 7 year old under the same roof is not exactly a recipe for calm.
I know I kind of do it already, when I step in between and talk them out of the fierce protection of what is theirs to slooooooooooowly seeing the other person’s perspective.
Too much lately, it doesn’t work and I banish them to the basement and pour myself a vodka.
The old words are falling on deaf ears. They take too long to get out of my mouth. And require me to be too close to a child who is begging for a whoopin’ for anyone to be safe.
So yeah, new words.
Then I realized, Here comes Lent.
The ultimate reset button.
It’s the perfect time to introduce a new way of talking about how we are in the world.
Are we crawling on the ground, surrounded by tall buildings, in the shadows where it feels scary and we think everyone wants our toys?
Or are we walking to the top of the hill where we can see the whole picture? Where the air is fresher and we remember we are not the only people who want or need something?
Down below, we’re angry and defensive and selfish.
Up above, we find wisdom and grace and compassion.
It’s a lot better than giving up chocolate, if we can make it work.