Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Wisdom of Whymper

One of the things about Biblical Wisdom is that some of it has been gleaned (so it seems) from those outside Israel. Hence, the words of Agur, son of Jakeh and King Lemuel in Proverbs 30 and 31. Some wisdom is the wisdom of common grace. Krakauer, in Into the Wild reproduces the famous quote from the alpine pioneer Edward Whymper - a quote which I've known for a long time and which I've tried to keep in mind whenever in the mountains, but especially when in epic (by which I mean worrying) situations. It offers Wisdom for Life - especially Life in the Kingdom of God...

There have been joys too great to be described in words, and there have been griefs upon which I have not dared to dwell; and with these in mind I say: Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.
Edward Whymper, Scrambles Amongst the Alps