Ingenuity, intelligence no match for wisdom

By Judy Brandon: Local columnist

Just for fun I bid on some old school lunch boxes on eBay. Years ago Annie, John Scott and Buffy ate lunch everyday at school with Charlie’s Angels, The Dukes of Hazard and Holly Hobby. So I thought I would put in a bid for each one on eBay.

Was I surprised! One was up to more than $200. For a lunch box. Now those are all collectors’ items. I might be well off today if I would have saved every lunch box that my kids had in grade school. I just didn’t realize that they would be worth something in years to come. Was it a lack of intelligence on my part or just a lack of foresight? Did I lack the wisdom?

My husband, Charlie, had baseball cards as a kid. He would buy them at Howard’s Grocery right across from what was then the Clovis Memorial Hospital on Thornton Street. Charlie would ride his bike to Howard’s and purchase bubble gum packages containing baseball cards. As a result, he built a card collection of Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Pee Wee Reese, Ted Williams and countless others. But after Charlie collected all those cards and then swapped them with his buddies, the new wore off. So Charlie found another use for them.

He clamped his baseball cards with clothespins to the spokes of his bicycle. He and his friends would see how far down they could “shred” Mickey Mantel and Roger Maris as they rode their bikes. The more cards a guy could clothespin to his spokes, the greater the whir. If he had saved those cards today, they would be worth a mint. Did Charlie lack intelligence for shredding those baseball cards? Did he lack the wisdom?

I really don’t think it was a matter of being smart. It was a matter of being ingenious. The trouble is they could not see into the future and know those baseball cards would be worth so much today.

To some people, being intelligent and having wisdom go hand in hand. Some think being an avid reader makes one intelligent, or knowing a litany of data and information gives one the edge on others. Some think it might mean straight A’s in school, or having several degrees or being able to counsel others.

But it is comforting to me that the Bible says nothing about old lunch boxes and baseball cards. What it does mention though are the profits of wisdom. The writers use wisdom as they talk about God and doing the will of God. Wisdom is involved when reading about deciding not only what is right to do but in deciding what is wrong to do. Wisdom is involved in discerning the will of God for one’s life.

Sometimes we don’t make the right choices in life. Some consequences of choices don’t matter a great deal — like the lunch boxes and baseball cards. But then again some choices in life do make a big difference and that is what Christian faith is all about.

When we know God in a personal way, we have access to great wisdom and that helps us even when our grownup minds operate in some ways as little children and the lack of judgment on our part is evidenced by the outcome. The wisdom comes as we ask God through faith to give us wisdom for everyday living.

I still think that not saving those old lunch boxes was not very smart. Oh … if I had only known then what I know today.

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: