I went to Jury Duty yesterday. For most of my adult life, I have been able to get out of the responsibility or some technicality has prevented me from being exposed to the actual selection process.
In the case that I was a possible juror in, both the prosecution and the defense spent an hour explaining the particulars of the law as it related to their side of the case. As these lawyers set up a question and then verbally asked the question of particular juror candidates, I found myself in a slight panic. In the moment, and without much reference, we were being asked to interpret how we feel about a particular aspect of the law and the procedures of the trial process. Over and over again, I wished I had their questions in writing so I could mull them over and make a more reasoned answer. Simply, on the spot, I didn’t always understand their questions, even though I am educated person who has a decent grasp of how our judicial system works.
Thankfully, I was never called upon other than a few times when everyone else in the room had already answered the same question and I had time to determine a yes or no answer.
My limitations as a human person were quite evident to me yesterday. My mind can only work so fast and it prefers being able to read something rather than hear it. The awkwardness of a court room with 50 other strangers also provided some anxiety that prevented my mind from working at its best. Also, the severity of being asked to consider guilt or innocence of one individual was a lot of pressure and I was relieved when I didn’t have to be tasked with that responsibility.
What we all needed and especially what the 12 that were selected needed was wisdom. Gordon T. Smith in his tremendous book, Called To Be Saints, says this about wisdom:
Each person longs to be wise, and all people long to see wisdom lived out in government, business, and church leadership. Furthermore, the purpose of all formal education…is that we would grow in wisdom and in our capacity for wisdom.
Many people read Proverbs daily, but do they know why they are reading Proverbs? Solomon tells the reader in the first line of the book, “For learning about wisdom and instruction…”
If you still have your doubts about all of this Spiritual Formation stuff and still think you are doing just fine in your life with God, consider your need for wisdom. Consider also that God has set in us a desire for wisdom and has spent much of scripture teaching us what the wise life looks like. And then provided his son to demonstrate that wise life and offer it to us.
May we do whatever it takes to achieve more wisdom in our lives.