In the Gospel, we hear about wise and foolish women, and the difference between the two when it comes to waiting and being prepared for the Bridegroom’s coming (Jesus).
I heard an interesting reflection on that Gospel which explained that the women were foolish because they wanted what they wanted when they wanted it, so much so that they demanded and tried to manipulate and get it from the wise women. They didn’t care that they were taking it from the wise women, as long as they had it for themselves. They focused on the result, not the means to the result.
I think that’s the real temptation in waiting. Wanting what we want when we want it. Demanding what we want. Manipulating it. Taking it at the expense of someone else’s risk or well-being. Going about getting the result in the wrong way.
We see how that works out with the foolish women, don’t we? It doesn’t! They wind up getting locked out and the wise women get to enter with Jesus. That just goes to show that in the end God sees everything for what it is. He knows the truth of our lives and whether we’ve cheated our way or tried to cut corners morally to get to the final result. The how matters.
In the end, the wise women win out because they chose the right way of preparing the oil for their lamps to stay lit as they waited for the Bridegroom. They chose the patient path of perseverance, the walk of charity, the way of virtue, and closeness to God. This is the path of wisdom and all of Scripture proclaims it.
In all of our waiting, there are choices to be wise and foolish in our pursuit of fruitfulness and our desires. Wisdom is walking in the ways of God, accumulating the oil to keep our lamps lit, and patiently awaiting His action. Foolishness is wanting what we want when we want it, and demanding, manipulating, and taking what we want at the cost or risk of someone else’s well-being.
If we’re truly honest with ourselves, we can see the truth of the wise and foolish paths set before us. The world offers us and even promotes a lot of foolish paths to get what we desire, but God offers us a different path: the path of wisdom.
My advice: Be a wise woman in a foolish world.