There is a story about a proud young man who approached Socrates asking for knowledge.
He walked up to the muscular philosopher and said, ‘‘O great Socrates, I come to you for knowledge’’.
Socrates recognised a pompous numbskull when he saw one.
He led the young man through the streets to the sea and they both ended up chest deep in the water.
Socrates then asked the young man, ‘‘What do you want?’’
‘‘Knowledge, O wise Socrates,’’ he replied with a smile.
Socrates put his strong hands on the man’s shoulders and pushed him under.
Thirty seconds later Socrates let him up.
‘‘What do you want?’’ he asked again.
‘‘Wisdom,’’ the young man sputtered, ‘‘O great and wise Socrates.’’
Socrates forced him under again.
Thirty seconds passed, 35, then 40. Socrates let him up.
The man was gasping.
‘‘What do you want, young man?’’
Between heavy, heaving breaths the fellow wheezed, ‘‘Knowledge, O wise and wonderful...’’
Socrates pushed him under again, 40 seconds passed, then 50.
‘‘What do you want?’’
‘‘Air,’’ the young man screeched, ‘‘I need air.’’
‘‘When you want knowledge with the same passion as you have just wanted air, then you will have knowledge.’’
We have a friend who is an extremely wise man. He has written numerous books and travelled the world imparting his knowledge to many thousands of people.
Yet he remains genuinely humble.
What is his secret? Why can’t I be like that?
The key to his success is two-fold.
He has a passion for what he does and he is not afraid of hard work.
Yes. He certainly has a gift from God to write and teach, but without the passionate desire to know what he believes God is saying through the Bible and his desire to tell others this gift would simply stagnate.
When I am around people like this I get fired up.
I want to be more like them.
However, I need to ask myself ‘‘am I prepared to pay the cost, in time, energy and resources?’’
If the answer is no, I have to be satisfied to remain in the shadow of people and never fulfil the purpose that God has ordained for me.
If, however, the answer is yes, I will and, do in some small measure, know the excitement of discovering what true wisdom is all about.
- George Deeble, Euroa Christian Fellowship