Have you seen the movie, Martian Child? If you haven’t, it is one I would happily recommend, and you may want not want to listen to this introduction…
There is a scene in the movie when Dennis, the little boy goes missing. David (John Cusack) does what any parent would do if they couldn’t find their child, started calling out for him. He went around the house yelling for him, outside, then drove all over, searching for him until he found Dennis.
That’s the image we get today, except we are the lost child. Wisdom is calling out for us, seeking us, hoping beyond hope that we will answer her call.
20 Wisdom calls out in the street,
she shouts loudly in the plazas;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she calls,
in the entrances of the gates in the city she utters her words:
22 “How long will you simpletons love naiveté?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 If only you will respond to my rebuke,
then I will pour out my thoughts to you
and I will make my words known to you.
After you read that, you may be thinking to yourself, “Now wait a minute, I ain’t no simpleton.” I would agree with that. I don’t like being called a simpleton. Someone called me that once, and it has stuck in my mind for a long time. It’s offensive. Sure, it might be cute to call a younger person that. But, not if they’re aware of what you’re calling them!
And come on, I don’t love naiveté. I may not be aware of everything, but I’m not totally unaware. And I don’t try to avoid knowledge.
But, if we really drill down to the heart of who we are, and I mean way down. Further. And further still. Beneath who we all pretend to be around others, beneath who we pretend to be when we’re talking about ourselves online, and even beneath who we envision ourselves to be when we rationalize our actions. Way Down.
Way down, we don’t really want to know do we.
Not to write a post about movies, but we’re all familiar with the overused quote from the Matrix, “ignorance is bliss.” If we’re being honest with ourselves, we would have to agree. Wouldn’t it be better to be ignorant of something than, to have to know it and live by it?
And that is where we all break down. At first response we are offended at being called simpleton and naive, but in practice we love it. We don’t just love it, we live it. We don’t want to know what the right thing to do is because then we have to do it. And if we know what the right thing to do is and we don’t do it we have guilt (yet another movie reference…).
Isn’t it easier to not know? We don’t like knowing the truth about families struggling to survive on less food than we wash down our garbage disposals. Even worse, we wince at the idea of knowing the struggles of friends and family and those we are personally connected to. Why? Once we know, we feel guilty for not doing anything we can to help.
But wisdom is seeking us out. Wisdom is desperately looking for us. She doesn’t care how much we do or don’t know, she just wants to be able to pour her thoughts out on us and make her ways known to us.
While not knowing may seem easier, it is not on par with better.
What if we got past the selfish response of guilt, and yes guilt is a result of selfishness. If we had done what we should have done, we wouldn’t feel guilty. Get beyond that first response and allow yourself to respond in the way that you feel compelled to respond. Buy a goat for a family in a poor country. Be a surrogate Father or Mother or big brother or sister for children in your life who don’t have one. Give money to the family who can’t find work. Turn off the TV. Get off the Couch. Share Your faith. Stand up for the defenseless.
This is wisdom, and she wants to introduce herself.