Charism of Wisdom
Description: Insight that comes up with creative solutions to specific problems and enables others to make good decisions.
Testimony for the Charism of Wisdom
When I first heard of the Called and Gifted process I had just taken early retirement. I didn’t really know what I was going to do, but I was sure that God had something in mind! As soon as I went through the C&G process I knew it was for me and really wanted to be part of it.
My one to one conversation was via Skype with a member of the Catherine of Sienna Institute. It was a good discussion and after about half an hour, the interviewer said “I think you should explore Wisdom”. This surprised me as it wasn’t one of the top 6 scores on my inventory (in-fact it only scored 5) but I decided to take his advice, put my lab-coat on and see what happens.
About that time, I agreed to make myself available to my former employer for a day or two each week. Amazingly they asked me to help with developing a new strategy and to help with coaching and mentoring. It seemed the perfect opportunity to explore the charism of Wisdom – which empowers a Christian to be a channel of God’s goodness generating remarkable insight and creative solutions to specific problems and enabling others to make good decisions.
I worked on the strategy for several weeks, interviewing and feeding back and holding workshops. As a result of my efforts, a three year strategy was finalised and agreed and implemented. I found this a really energising experience, and the feedback was really positive even though I had never done this type of work before. Following on from this, I was asked back to update the strategy for new developments and was subsequently asked to help a number of teams develop new services for the marketplace, in line with the strategy.
“So over time I think I have learned to be prepared for surprises; to trust that God will provide and then step out and take some risks!”
Over the same period, I started one to one coaching and mentoring sessions for senior staff. These were adhoc and informal, at the request of the staff, often happening when colleagues saw me in the office and asked if I had time for a chat. Although the issues were often challenging, I really looked forward to seeing how I could help. At first I thought these sessions were popular simply because I was no longer in the chain of command and therefore more independent and objective than my former colleagues. However, two years on I am still being asked for advice, sometimes face to face, sometimes over the phone. I had thought that I would be experimenting with Wisdom in a more faith based context rather than in the work place. But, as our charisms are given to us to use in every aspect of our lives, I think this is still good evidence. Since then, I have found one to one conversations an important time to allow God’s wisdom to flow and I really look forward to these meetings and the opportunity to support and guide others on their discernment journey. So far, the feedback from these conversations is really positive. So over time I think I have learned to be prepared for surprises; to trust that God will provide and then step out and take some risks!
Six Years On: Recognising a gift-mix of charisms at play, to understand better my mission field
More recently, I’ve been given opportunities to serve on a number of teams in the Diocese to give advice and support. It seems that the charism of Wisdom can include the gift of calmly listening to different points of view and offering insights that help others to better understand the complexities of a situation and the potential solutions so that good decisions can be made.
I really feel that the situations I am invited into are calling forth the gift-mix of Wisdom (Knowledge Insight) and Administration (Planning & Coordination) at work together, enabling the analysis and organisation of the facts, so that Wisdom can follow on and provide the insights. I have also been told that people feel deeply listened to and understood which brings peace to them.
I think this is the charism of Encouragement together with Wisdom added into the mix. An additional nurturing charism comes into play when I am invited into leading groups – the charism of pastoring, which fosters long term spiritual growth and inter-relationships.
All of this gives me confidence in discerning what to say yes to, when balancing time and energy, and what is best given to others.