Monday, January 02, 2006

Seven "pearls" of wisdom

I was reading Proverbs 9 this morning. It begins with the words "Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars." The Seven Pillars of Wisdom is the tile of two books written by Lawrence of Arabia. The first one is something to do with castles and fortresses around Europe, according to my husband. It uses the image of pillars in a literal sense, in terms of something solid and lasting. The other book by that title is his autobiography. For ages I thought it was the seven "pearls" of wisdom, and argued quite comprehensibly that it made sense. If you think of wise sayings as being gems, the word "pearls" makes sense! I think I was only really convinced this morning when I read the word "pillars" that I had got it wrong.

Lawrence and I have a history! Before we got married, Joe and I went to see the film "Lawrence of Arabia" in the local cinema. It was four hours long, with an intermission. The coffee we ordered for the intermission was thick and black and you could have stood your spoon up in it! What I really remember though was not being well. I was sick and in no fit state to sit for four hours, but because Joe had brought the tickets already, and I loved him, and I didn't want to let him down, my queasy stomach and I sat through the four hours without complaining.

I haven't read the book, but found an inspiring quotation from it.

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."

I dream by night - very vividly too. But it is just vanity when I wake in the day it means nothing and changes nothing. To be a dreamer of the day - how much more dangerous - acting out your dreams with open eyes and making it possible? That is the kind of dreaming that God wants from us - dreaming with open eyes and acting to make it possible.

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