Wisdom Days

blue ripples of water

Fridays have become Wisdom Days. I will be 60 in a few weeks and after 38 years of working full-time, I asked my boss/friend/work partner if I could reduce to working four days a week. Since August 1, I have been taking off every Friday. Before my first day off even came up, I found myself sitting in a discussion group with a Jesuit who was visiting campus. “What are you going to do with your day off?” he asked.

“I’m not sure” came my tentative answer. He replied, “I think it would make a great Wisdom Day.” It felt like exactly the right name. A Wisdom Day. Once a week, a day away from work, mostly unplugged from my iPhone/e-mail and texts.

I have used the days for reading, long walks, and cooking. I take life slow and often take a nap. I don’t make plans to meet people for coffee or lunch on Fridays, and I am almost always alone.

This week at work has been a long and especially hectic one. My co-worker noted gently yesterday that I seemed, well…crabby. Irritable and rushing around like I wasn’t enjoying myself — all of which was true. I knew I needed to re-connect.

On Friday, I slept in an hour later than usual and had a slow cup of coffee while I read the day’s scriptures. “Serve the Lord with gladness,” offered the Psalm reading for the day. That was on target.

I went to our nearby botanical garden for a long walk. I took off my watch and buried my phone in my pocket. Sitting deep in the woods next to a stream, I took a slow breath and felt my shoulders slowly lower from my ears. “What do you want to tell me?” I asked Jesus.

The answer floated up from the stream running at my feet. “Come, and rest in me.” I settled into that grace and after a while, I wandered to another part of the gardens. For nearly two hours, I strolled, sat, swung, and smiled at the wonders around me. I literally stopped to smell roses. When I heard the huffing of a steam train, I walked toward a children’s exhibit and was delighted to see the surprise of a tiny train chugging through an old tree. It crossed bridges made of sticks and under tunnels of bark. I was as delighted as a five-year-old.

In prairie gardens, I sat on a swing in the midst of the native grasses from this part of the world. Warmed by the sun, I was also warmed with the thought that the week had gotten off track because I had forgotten how loved I am by Jesus. In my busy-ness, I had actually said the words, “I am too busy for prayer this week,” knowing somewhere in my soul that those were not words that made sense.

I wandered back toward the front gates, grateful for being loved and for being healed once again. Much to my chagrin, it is the same healing I need over and over. No matter how much I want to, I can’t cross it off my To Do list. On the other hand, it means that over and over I can return with surprise to my loving friend Jesus, who stands waiting with arms outstretched, ready to offer me exactly what I need.

Image by basegreen under a Creative Commons license.

Previous articlePope Francis Back in the Pulpit
Next articlePraying the Examen with Children
Maureen McCann Waldron
Maureen McCann Waldron graduated from Creighton University with a degree in journalism and then spent 22 years in corporate public relations. After receiving her master’s degree in Christian spirituality from Creighton, she joined Andy Alexander, SJ, in Creighton’s Collaborative Ministry Office.


  1. Wisdom Days- we should have a piece of every day be our Wisdom moment. A beautiful passage of scripture a great cup of coffee or tea may be all that is needed to open up to God’s abundant love. Maybe it’s afternoon or evening-God doesn’t’t care about the time. God wants so badly for us to seek a relationship with her, or however you imagine God(another thing which I don’t think God cares about)that in the seeking and finding we receive God’s love and graces.There are many recipes for how we can find God during our Widom moment.

  2. Maureen, I just read about your Wisdom Day. Thank you for your reminder – the gentle nudge – that we may need to disconnect (from technology, work, etc) in order to reconnect to Spirit, to Life, to Presence, to Jesus. Wishing you many Wisdom Days this summer and long into the future. Blessing!!

  3. This sure is a wonderful idea-wisdom day. I can only say that when i actually stop and stay on my own for a while, alone with Him, i experience a calm and inner peace which i cant easily explain. Silence is filled by His presence. Thanks for sharing this simple but effective idea.

  4. My dear friend, Maureen: I have read this before but again, it is right on target. We need those times of just being alone, no pressure from anywhere.
    I did that yesterday = had an appointment for a haircut. There is an area near there where there are horses, cows, miniature horses, greenery, beautiful trees, etc. Here in the desert that is a respite.
    Then I went to another place where there used to be 2 lakes. There were 2 hot springs there, and over the years, they have diminished. Now because of the draught, one is completely dry and the other one is not even as wide as a river.
    So I enjoyed the beauty of all that, the quiet, plus the sadness of the lake. but it was a time of refreshment. Now I am ready to go back to the everyday world. I have had my “Wisdom Day”.
    Love and prayers,
    PS: How is baby Charlotte?

  5. Maureen, reading this refreshed my soul. It has reminded me how I need to spend today and the many days I have to spend in quiet, reflection and prayer. Thank you.

  6. I must say this is a wonderful wisdom month for me.just finished having a retreat and am still basking in Jesus’ love. I have decided to go at least one day a week to this beautiful place and visit the chapel, the blessed sacament, and my dear sister who cares for the elderly nuns who live there. Please pray that i will have the strength to accomplish my weekly goal. God bless you all!

  7. When I read this I had only recently discussed with my Spiritual Director taking time for me and God and prayer outside of the house. I had decided to take a full day every month on the 23rd (my birth day), so now this will be my “wisdom day”. It is my gift to myself for my 60th birthday, which was yesterday and I am delighted to have reached the age of wisdom.

  8. Maureen can I steal your Wisdom Day? What a great idea.
    Reading your posting made me think about that garden. I think it is time
    To spend some quiet time there.
    BTW – Happy Birthday

  9. I am not american nor do I live in US. But I subscribe to your blogs.
    Thanks for sharing this. I found it honest and simply clear.
    Thank you very much.

  10. If only every Sunday could be enjoyed the way Maureen describes her “Wisdom Day”. How many of us fully set aside Sunday, do no work, rest in the Lord as we ought to? As much for our own spiritual renewal and reconnection to God as well as for worshiping Him. This needs to be done, that has to be taken care of….before we know it, even without having gone to the store, thrown in a load of laundry, the day is over and we haven’t received the fullness of Grace the Sabbath offered.
    I loved this blog post, spoke to me of that delicious respite found only in the presence of Jesus, a foretaste of eternity.

    • True and people are busier than they were even a hundred years ago. Women usually stayed at home (yuck) and had time to do all that kind of boring stuff during the week. That’s okay anyway because God is everywhere, like air, assimilating us into him as we assimilate ourself into him whether we know it or not. Everything we do is inside God. That IS fullness of grace, no?

  11. Maureen yes. I just gave notice to end my pm shift to which I refer as the PMShift. Notably when the three hour thing is over I am crabby, irritable, bad tempered, and wish to kill something. This is not a good time for me to make decisions or judgements (Cdn spelling) as I found out last night when the thing ended. After inventing a few more bad words I decided I should be talking to God instead. The last shift will be in another month at which time I will likely dance, sing, fly around the rooms, and bless my notebook with new energy.

  12. Maureen, a lovely essay. I need to build more wisdom into my life! Just a technical note. When I got this in my e-mail, no author is mentioned. I thought it might have been Vivian Wright. Please, lady, give yourself some credit! Ann

  13. Maureen, this is a beautiful reminder to each of us that taking time to be with Jesus must be a priority as it is essential to our well-being. Thank you for sharing this.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here