I am a hyperaware person. Where other people tend to live in the moment, my mind naturally extends backwards and forwards into the past and future, connecting dots and seeking patterns for the worst possible outcomes and best possible ways to keep things from staying stagnant and dying. I am a strategist in a world of people who stack visions like cash. They see stars where I see calculations, formulas, and solutions. Often the solution is a no solution, and my recommendations are to not focus on the stars but the tangible sky, the reachable moon.
The way I dig down–prepare for reality–leaves those whom I love the most with bitter tastes and exasperated dreams. My chess-playing gets misread as raining on parades when I am intending to make sure that every float passes by perfectly and the vision they laid in front of me becomes the very thing they wanted when they placed it in my hands. I seem cold when really I am dedicated to see the dream come to pass–even unto death. To me, the world is full of spiritual landmines and hidden physical traps designed to disrupt the flow. My only desire is to help the potential to be reached with as little damage as possible. We are really on the same page; I just got a chance to see the beginning, middle, and end.
It’s an intense way to live: surrounded by dreamers and visionaries who experience me as a light killer when I all I am about is focusing the beam to maximum shine and reach. Every blue moon I try to explain myself; but most times I just keep my head down and figure out ways to steer folks without them feeling the fullest weight of all that I know and that God has allowed me to see.
Because that is what this gift really is–God allowing me to see. Which way to go. When to move. Who to take and to pick up later and to leave altogether. Why it will work this way but not that. The hardest road to walk. The best path to travel.
When those closest to me ask God to “order my steps”, they don’t recognize that I am the answer to the prayer, the bosom by which they are blessed with wisdom and truth and perspective. The divine downloads they seek come out of my mouth; the blueprints ordered in prayer and fasting placed in my mind like a roadmap to victory. They don’t see that, though; to those whom I love, I am a crushing force full of negativity and nos.
When you spend as much time thinking as I do (and some of you will understand), everything you do becomes heavy. You weigh everything in the balance–like what happens if I spend this $20 instead of keeping it? If I teach it this way, how will it affect what happens later on? How is this moment a result of earlier decisions? I weigh every word, every action. I think about how it will help or harm. And in doing so, I create voids for myself as a human. Safe space to unload becomes a scarce commodity, and I feel utterly alone.
Some days, I wish I could be free. I wish that I could live day to day grasshopper style. But this is the price I told God I would pay to be wise, to be able to read the signs. To know the times.
The cost of wisdom is heaviness.
When I read Ecclesiastes, I know just how Solomon must have felt. To be blessed to know, discern is a responsibility that crushes simple pleasures out of you. I get why he was such a whoremonger; the only time his mind was empty was probably when he fully ensconced himself in the purely physical pursuit of women and sex. The brain shuts off. Thinking becomes impossible. And there is short-lived but precious solace. Because, as Solomon stated at the end of the first chapter, ““For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” Ecclesiastes 1:18
But, Solomon also knew the solace in wisdom. How pleasing it is to be helpful, to be able to bring a thing into a place of fruition. In the 8th chapter, he contradicted himself, acknowledging the joy in the depths of God’s wisdom passed on to a person who desires it, saying, ““Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? A person’s wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance.” Ecclesiastes 8:1 NIV
And it is true! When I am in the midst of solving a problem, adding legs to a vision, clarifying an issue, judging a situation in a way that brings peace or relief to another person, I feel the weight lift. I know why I am here, and the weight is worth the days when it becomes nearly unbearable. Despite the press, wisdom for me is still the principle thing. So I carry its heft, honored and humbled by the opportunity to bring it to a world needing it desperately.