How being sheltered improves your socialization

Michael Jackson at the Cannes film festival.

Image via Wikipedia

Wow, I am really sorry guys. Yesterday was a pretty tough day for me, and I completely forgot about my poor blog. So I hope you’ll forgive me and read this, even though it’s a day late. 🙂

I remember about three and half years or so ago, I was riding in a car with Bro. James and Bro. Phil, two of the staff at Shenandoah Boy’s Ranch. We were out doing errands, while the rest of the guys at the ranch were off doing… other stuff, I don’t remember what. It was a privilege to get the exclusive privilege to ride with them. We always looked forward to such things to help break up the predictability of our lives. (And I liked it also because of the funny odd feeling I got riding in a car – I’m so ridiculously used to big rigs that riding in a car feels like flying a space ship.)

We were discussing things along the way all friendly-like, and the conversation turned from my odd taste in movies (a very popular subject of discussion at the ranch, heh) to my lack of knowledge of things sporting. Sporty? Sportish. Whatever.

I was challenged to name a single sports star. I named Babe Ruth.

Why? Because in Peanuts, Snoopy was planning to tie his home run record. (We have an old hardbound copy of Peanuts from my dad’s childhood personal library.)

That was all I could name.

They were flabbergasted, and a tad bit overcome with discombobulation. “You don’t even know who Michael Jordan is??” they said.

“Um… you mean the black guy who looks funny because of all the plastic surgery?”

* dead silence and shocked awe at my endless knowledge of sports stars *

Evidently there are two famous people with the first name of Michael and whose last names start in J. Go figure. Sounds like a grand plan… let’s all confuse Jay!

Now anyone who knows me reasonably well (at least my more modern regenerated form, even though my hair isn’t quite ginger yet) knows that I am quite a bit more aware of my secular surroundings than I was. Quite a bit, yes quite a bit.

But here’s the thing. In ten seconds flat I had not only discovered who Michael Jordan is, but what he is famous for (and the connection to the tennis shoes too). And I remembered too. Well, most of it anyway.

And not only that, but now I also know a good deal more about Michael Jackson too (having watched a few of his songs and such like and fiddled with the moonwalk a tidbit).

That didn’t take more than a couple days. And I was completely caught up with all the other raving fans. (Well maybe not with the maniacs who know every bit of ML trivia that ever existed and some that didn’t, but who cares about that stuff?)

So what’s the point?

Well the point is… what would have been the point in me learning it all earlier?

They were astonished at my lack of secular knowledge, but why? Up to that point I didn’t need it, and once I did need it, I picked it up faster than you pick up red spots from a measle party. So who cares when I learned it, as long as I know it when I need to know it?

So at least as far as trivia about the world at large is concerned, who cares? Learn it when you need it, and you’ll be fine. No need to gorge yourself on the things ‘society’ says you need to know just in case you ever need to… talk about it… or something.

I am insatiably curious. Absolutely indefatigable when it comes to finding stuff out. Anything, I really don’t care what it is, as long as I don’t know it and I know I can know it. But even I find things uninteresting until something or someone has piqued my fascination in it. Prove to me its value (even if all it takes is mentioning it to me) and I’ll go and jump into it. But not before.

It’s similar with socialization. It’s ridiculous to say that your family and those you learn from and your mentors and even your books aren’t “society” and that by spending time with them isn’t “socializing.” It’s simply rubbish.

What people are saying when they accuse us sheltered people of not being socialized is that we aren’t learning the things they think are important.

Such as the difference between the MJs.

They value such things, and they measure our competence on their plane of value. But we’re using an entirely different axis, a radically different dimension to measure our success and competence.

Sheltering your children merely means you are consciously choosing what measure of competence you are using, and then prioritizing their influences based upon it. Very simple.

So are you missing out?

Yep.

But you want to. It’s not that you don’t like those things (hey, it’s rather interesting, at least to me anyway). It’s just that you’d rather learn other things first. Your priorities are different.

Make sense? Good. 😉

Oh No! A Disagreement!

What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!

What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!

Laugh. 🙂

That comic is funny, but it is also very true.

How many times do we get bent out of shape, and spend precious moments of our time (and every moment is precious), trying to convince someone just because they are wrong?

Think about it: there are over six and a half billion people on this planet. That is a lot. But that number pales to insignificance when you consider the amount of knowledge available in the universe. Every detail of every action of all time; every fact of every attribute of every event and every object that ever occurred or existed; every thought of every human in response to every stimulus in history.

That still blows me away.

When you consider the vastness of total knowledge, the amount you think you know becomes a tiny spot, indistinguishable in a lake of ink that spreads as far as the horizon.

And then when you look at what you know, with an honest mind, how much do you really know? How many times have you held something with absolute conviction, yet only to renounce it as complete foolishness a few short years later? Hopefully many, many times. There is very little we can be sure of. I won’t say, like many, that there is nothing that we can be sure of, which is foolishness. But the vast majority of our knowledge is on very shaky ground.

So when you couple these two considerations together, you must realize the self-evident fact that the huge, vast majority of people in the world are just simply wrong about almost everything, including yourself. (By the way, no one is wrong about everything: each person has a certain measure of absolute truth in their keeping.)

This is a humbling, and a daunting prospect. Only God is absolutely right, with absolute knowledge. And it is insufferable arrogance to assume that we are anywhere close to Him in that regard.

So what do we do when we find out that someone * gasp * is wrong?

Well most of the time we can simply pass on. We have other things to do. At least, hopefully we do. There are only a very few, very rare situations in which it is appropriate and helpful to address someone’s perceived error.

And even then, first make sure that you are really in disagreement. The vast, vast majority of perceived disagreements are just that, perceived. It is extremely easy to mistake someone’s point of view. And it is even easier to assume that they believe things that they really don’t: you might be in agreement on everything they say except for one small point.

Then, don’t attack. Being mistaken is never a sin in itself, even in matters of doctrine, and it is rarely very bad either. It can be dangerous, though, which should motivate us to be as kind and unselfish as possible in helping the other person.

And above all…

Don’t lose sleep over it. 😉

I Am In Love!

I like to put riddles in my statuses, and yesterday was no exception. I posted a short, 42 character message to twitter, buzz, and facebook, and sparked an explosion of responses like none other. The status was this:

“I have a girlfriend; I am in love; she is perfect.”

Some who knew me very well immediately concluded, rightly, that this could not be taken literally.

Others were not sure, thinking that I might possibly, somehow be serious.

Some guessed that the ‘she’ was a new technology, an animal, a boat, a car, the Church, and any number of random and incorrect ideas.

Most were frantic for me to reveal the answer, a couple were bright enough to actually figure it out.

It was very fun.

But now is the time for me to reveal the answer.

She is a ‘her.’ Not an ‘it.’

She is not human.

Nonetheless she is my girlfriend, nonetheless I do love her, and she is perfect.

Her name is:

Wisdom.

Go ahead and kick yourself. 🙂

Proverbs 4:6-9 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

Proverbs 8:1-11 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

Wisdom is represented as a gracious woman throughout Proverbs. She is said to have been there with God before time began, and to have worked with him in the creation of the world. And we are commanded to love her, to embrace her, to dedicate ourselves to her.

And yes, we are commanded to consider her as our sister, our kinswoman, which is well within the limits of the definition of the word ‘girlfriend.’ 😉

Wisdom is valuable knowledge or skill (Prudence is knowing how to avoid evil), plain and simple. People try to give it other meanings, but they aren’t really supported from the Biblical use of the word. The Wisdom character in Proverbs, if you really study her out, is one of the attributes and aspects of God Himself.

God supplies our every relational need. He is our Father, our King, our Brother, our Betrothed, and… our Sister. Pretty cool.

So, what are your thoughts? How can we act out this very interesting relationship with Wisdom in real life?

Everyone Communicates…

…But Few Connect.

Well I just finished Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell. I am almost ashamed for getting such a good book for free from BookSneeze, and even though I wasn’t required to give a positive review, that is the only kind I can give it.

Out of the hundreds of books that I have read that are really good, this one is definitely in the top ten. John Maxwell brings Biblical, Christian, practical, applicable, powerful, and profound principles, tactics, illustrations, and humor together in this book with a vital message: how to connect with everyone you come into contact with.

Connecting is the most important thing you can do in any relationship (family, spouse, parents, boss, co-workers, subordinates, clients, everyone). And every single step that John Maxwell gives you here will by itself revolutionize the way you connect. Integrating them all is hard work, but it is worth it. Five stars isn’t enough: this book is crucial for your life.

A Fun Family Set of Videos

If you have been following me on Facebook or Buzz (or on Twitter for that matter) you probably have noticed a flood of videos coming through my stream. Of course I understand that if you are not one of those nice people who read and comment on them all, you are probably intimidated by the vast quantity of things I share. So I wanted to put a few of my favorites on here for all you people who have lives. 😉

Enjoy! These were both entries for contests on christianfilmmakers.org.

Typography and Lexicology

Greetings,

I could not resist sharing this on my blog with y’all when I saw it. Watch it and heed it!

Crippled and Blind, yet in a Marching Band

Greetings,

This young man has no eyes, and cannot walk, yet his God-given musical talent is tremendous.