Friday, January 19, 2018

"Are We There Yet?

Matthew 15.15 NIV and “The Message”

Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”  I don’t get it. Put it in plain language.”

Peter is the patron saint of the dense. He’s my kind of guy. Most of us “don’t get it” quietly. But Peter blurts out his ignorance for all to hear, “I’m lost. Can you explain what you’re talking about?” Peter validates and encourages me. I now know it’s OK to admit, “I don’t get it.” If Peter needed an explanation, why am I surprised when I do?

I would rather “get” everything. I hate looking stupid. I don’t want others to jeer and poke fun at my ignorance with snide remarks like, “Wake up and smell the coffee” or “Come to the party” or every sarcastic’s favorite, “Duh.” But that’s the risk I take when, like Peter, I choose to display my lack of awareness for all to see.

Of course, there is an upside to this risk. Maybe I will actually learn something. So, when the pain of ignorance becomes greater than the fear of reprisal, I may take the plunge and confess my reality:

“I don’t get it. Put it in plain language.”

My comprehension is limited. I only know a few things. I’m ever learning much but never knowing all; always on the journey but never quite arriving.

I grew up in a military home and my family moved constantly. (Thankfully, they never left me behind.) I actually attended three different schools in fifth grade in Massachusetts, Montana, and Germany. My parents, siblings and I took lots of trips. My memory of vacations and relocations all blend together now. We traveled by ship, plane, train, bus, subway, and car. I recall a few destinations, frequent journeys, and ample sightseeing along the way. I often wondered and pestered my parents with, “Are we there yet?” I’m still wondering.

Very little is crystal clear for me. I am a believer. I fully subscribe to the basic tenants of the Christian faith. I know Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead. I am assured that my eternal destiny is secure. I know that I had twenty years with the most wonderful woman on earth before she died of cancer. I am clear on my role to raise my children and manage my household. I know I am called to serve my family, church, and community. I have a purpose and enough good health and brains to carry it out. For all these many blessings and my small bit of awareness, I am overwhelmingly grateful. But that’s about where my understanding ends. I grasp very little beyond the contents of this paragraph. I am in regular need of divine explanations to daily human dilemmas, many of my own making. 

Thank God for a Savior who never wearies of my need to know and the example of a disciple who overcame his shame and admitted his personal limitations…

“Explain the parable to us.”  
“I don’t get it. Put it in plain language.”

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