Groaning Wisdom

In my daily Bible reading, this phrase from Matthew 11:19 struck me: “wisdom is shown to be right by its results” (NLT). This seems, on the surface, a more positive way of saying “Don’t act the Fool!” Yet the more I let it ruminate, the more meaning I find. 

In the original Hebrew of the Old Testament, the word used for meditation is “Hagah” which means to moan, growl, or make a noise. It is actively thinking over what you’ve read or recited in a way that demands a physical, audible response. “Yes! Wow! Amen!” might be words you would choose. Other times, the Spirit responds in groanings beyond words. 

As I “hagah” over the words “wisdom is shown to be right by its results,” an active response is required. Simply reading the words of Jesus is not enough, simple ruminating over the words isn’t enough. An action of doing is demanded. Have I acted the fool, showing myself unwise? How do I make wise steps instead of careless or thoughtless ones? 

For the better part of two years, my focus has been living intentionally with my actions. In that time, the intensity with which I focus has increased. In the last six months, that intention has become a mission. When I read these words, and groan over them, I also hear “make waves!” 

Black Forest, Germany 2014

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