The Beginning of Knowledge
It's July 1st and I am journeying through the book of Proverbs. Over the next 31 days in July I will extract a verse from each of the 31 chapters in Proverbs and take a closer look. Today, July 1st the verse(s) that I will be looking at are 5 and 7:
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsel. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs is the book of wisdom and knowledge, written mostly by Solomon who is credited with being the wisest man in the bible. When I read these verses it reminds me that I have not always been a person who would seek knowledge or wise counsel. In fact for the majority of my life I walked around believing that I knew everything and I believed that I could not learn anything from anyone else. I was that person.
I'm not sure where that arrogance came from. Even when I was wrong I was wrong with such conviction that it sounded like I was right. During those years I alienated people, sabotaged relationships and was just a very unlikable person. But I couldn't see any of that because I was also very self confident, independent and used to only relying on myself for anything and everything. So when someone walked out of my life or I cut them out, it was no skin off my back. In my mind I still had ME.
What a sad existence.
I do not remember the exact moment when that changed. But it had to be sometime between 2010 and 2016. During that time I was doing quite a bit of self-reflection and had many moments of self-discovery. It was during this time that I discovered my passion for health and fitness. It was during this time that I really spent a lot of time with myself and discovered what I needed and did not need in my life. Six years of reflection can open your eyes to a lot of things.
One of the things that I realized was that I actually did not know everything. In 2010 I joined a new church and shortly thereafter became active in a small (life) group. I was surrounded by people who knew so much about Christian living, spirituality, the bible, etc. I was like a wide-eyed school girl when I was with them. These people were nothing like me. They were older, they were white, they were married, their socioeconomic status was different than mine but somehow I was still able to learn so much from them. This had to be when I allowed myself to be open to receive knowledge from others. I had humbled myself to learn and the results were amazing. These people accepted me into their lives and had a genuine concern for me, my family and my life. To this day, they are in my life and it is comforting to know that I have a group of people that I can turn to when I need wise counsel and prayer.
In 2012 I acknowledged the fact that I didn't know anything about my fitness and hired a personal trainer to help me get on track. That was the beginning of my fitness journey and yet another example of me being open to allow someone who didn't look like me to help me in an area where I was severely lacking.
In 2016 when I decided to start dating again, I was able to admit that I had been out of the game for so long that I had no absolutely no idea what I was doing and I needed help. I enlisted the help of an online group of "sista friends" and asked for guidance on how I can navigate the world of online dating. I received some great advice and was able to go on a first date, and a second date and a third, etc. Because I had spent so much time "finding myself" I was 100% clear on what I wanted and what I didn't want. So, when I came across something or someone that didn't line up with my expectations, I was able to recognize it right away and move on. Eventually, I met someone who was the right person for me and we've been together for two years and are looking toward the future.
None of these things would have been possible without my willingness to humble myself and seek out wise counsel. I had to come to the realization that I did not know everything and there is always room for knowledge and that knowledge can come from unexpected places.