An old story tells of a group of people who would be guided by their spiritual leader to a secret place in a forest, where they would sit under a special tree and would be led in a special prayer. And God would give them wisdom.
When the leader died, the location of the secret spot was lost. But they remembered the kind of tree, so the group would gather together under the right kind of tree and recite the words of the prayer together. And God would give them wisdom.
After some time, a generation came along that didn’t know the special place in the forest, and couldn’t recall what kind of tree it was, so they would gather and recite the prayer together. And God would give them wisdom.
There are many things to learn from this simple story, but surely one of them is this: that while we change, and our circumstances change, the wisdom of God—and the generosity with which it is given to us—doesn’t change. God’s purpose and guidance in our lives are a constant.
I find great reassurance in knowing that—wherever and however we are involved in the health and healing of the communities we are called to serve—when we seek God’s wisdom, it is never withheld from us. I believe that God’s wisdom is encoded in the vision we have for service and, by actively living out our values and pursuing our mission together, we are responding to God’s leadership in our organization and our individual lives. In many ways, our Mission, Vision, and Values are in fact the special prayer that, when recited, creates the environment for serving with the wisdom and grace of God.
Part of being a faith-based organization means we seek God’s wisdom together. We pray together. And our prayers are heard and answered.