Although it was raining, I could see she was crying when she got out of the car. She was terrified. Or devastated. Or both.
We were only recently engaged and I had not seen this side of Candice before.
She quickly walked toward me. “I lost it!” She said. I didn’t know what she was talking about.
“I can’t find it anywhere! I’m so sorry! I don’t know where it is!”
I could barely understand her words through her tears.
“I lost the ring! I lost my engagement ring!”
She was frantic. I was trying not to be.
I asked all the dumb questions. “Where did you have it last? Do you remember where you last had it on?”
As she composed herself, she decided that her best option was to retrace her steps.
So she drove 45 minutes in the rain back to her job. At the time, she worked at AT&T at WolfChase Mall in Memphis, Tennessee. This was back when there was such a thing as malls.
She looked in the parking lot, even checking the puddles near the spot where she previously parked. She walked along the path looking in every wrinkle and crevice of the asphalt. She walked inside along the busy corridor looking along the walls and edges in case it had fallen off and been kicked to the side. When she got to her store, she looked along the floors and under furniture. She looked near the phones, on the shelves, and then in the back of the store.
To her, that ring symbolized my love. It was a sign of my promise for a future with her. Candice valued that ring not only for its beauty but for what it meant. And she would not rest until she found it.
Proverbs 2 pleads for similar urgency. But this urgency is for a greater treasure.
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” (Prov. 2:1-5)
True wisdom is found by seekers who have urgency.
But here’s the upside down business idea: Authentic wisdom is only found by seekers. This kind of wisdom is not natural. It does not originate with self.
Do you seek for wisdom? Would your team affirm that you humbly look outside of yourself for wisdom?
Are you reading good books? Are you leaning into experienced mentors? Are you going out of your way to learn from people on your team who might have different skills or perspectives?
Or do you convince yourself you don’t have time to read because you “made it this far” without cracking open a book? Do you shun business coaches because you trust yourself more than anyone else? Do you dismiss your team member’s ideas because you don’t value their insights as much as your own?
The writer of Proverbs was a fabulously wealthy king who was famous for his wisdom. Yet he knew that true wisdom was the result of looking for it outside of himself.
And while you should certainly be reading books, listening to business coaches, and absorbing the creative input of your team, there is still one greater source of wisdom.
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Prov 2:6)
True wisdom won’t be found in the bottom of a paper shredder in the back room of AT&T, but you should search for it with even more relentless tenacity that Candice used to search for her ring.
The urgency and thoroughness of Candice’s search was based on her belief that her ring symbolized value and beauty.
But the writer of Proverbs tells us that wisdom is exponentially more valuable.
God may have gifted you with natural ability, but heed the wisdom of the Bible’s wisest king: Seek wisdom from the Lord.