Purposefully Ignorant

I was telling someone not long ago that I have to be the dumbest pastor's wife that ever was. I'm not theologically ignorant. I'm not intellectually sloppy. I took a for-real IQ test last year, and my IQ is equivalent to that of anyone with a Master's degree. So I am not that kind of stupid.

I choose not to sweat the small stuff. Heck, I choose not to sweat some of the big stuff. If anyone comes to me, to fill me in on what "people in the church" are saying, I don't hear them. Sure, I "hear" the person talking, but none of it registers. ("..everybody's talkin' at me, but I don't hear a word they're sayin', only the echoes of my mind...woh woh woh woh woh..." remember the old Harry Nilson song? I sometimes call it the leader's anthem.)

I don't care - not like they want me to care. What it is, is I don't feel the need to know. Typically, that phrase "people in the church" means one or two other naysayers, usually including the person who is attempting to inform me.

(And no, this has not happened recently, at all, whatsoever. So this is a perfectly safe thing to say right now...)

I don't burn up the telephone. Ask my family. I am never on the phone. This has been my habit for twenty years. I don't go from house to house "chatting" with people. Not like that. Tim and I fellowship all the time - not because we are needy or bored or lonely or wishing to "feel out" what someone thinks about church matters, but rather because we genuinely enjoy people. Otherwise, I keep my nose in my own business, and work with my hands so that my family has need of nothing it is in my power to give them.

Last night, we had dinner with a couple in our church, and we didn't discuss a single church-related issue. And this couple are "in the know", they are leaders, and yet we didn't care to talk about some of the huge issues we have recently put behind us as a fellowship. Those issues were not even insinuated. We laughed till we cried when we tried to say all our names backwards (our host's name sounded quite Arabic...or was it French?). We discussed everything from artichokes to theology, and it was all genuine and happy and faith-building.

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss recent events, small minds discuss people. Teeny tiny minds try to say people's names backwards, but that is beside the point.

God always brings my ministry or counseling opportunities to my attention, His way. I do not ever have to seek them out. And heaven knows, I don't need to hear about all the contention. I never know who is thinking about leaving her husband, unless the woman tells me herself. I never know whose nose is bent out of joint, because I am simply not a magnet for that sort of information. I don't draw it to myself. I don't know who is mad at me, because they can try, and they have tried before, to insult me to my face, and I sometimes don't catch on. It goes right over my head. I'm too busy assuming everyone thinks I'm likable and lovable.

And when I do catch on, I've been known to crack up laughing over it. My sense of humor has it's dark side, and yes, I am incorrigible.

Actually, my ignorance is depth, according to the ancient men of faith. Thomas a'Kempis said this:

"My son, in many things it is thy duty to be ignorant, to esteem thyself as dead upon earth, and as one to whom the whole world is crucified. It is thy duty to pass by many things with a deaf ear, and rather to think of those things which belong unto thy peace. It is far more useful to turn away one's eyes from unpleasant things, and to leave everyone to his own opinion, rather than become a slave to someones contentious discourses."

I can have honest discourses all day long - even heated ones. But I've turned a deaf ear to a few discourses in my day, when I saw they were simply contentious. I am no one's slave, and I do not have to listen to it. I have just bowed right out, and said, "I'm done here."

I'd rather iron my underwear or dance to an old James Taylor tune, or discuss soteriology with Timothy over a cold glass of Dr. Pepper.

In my opinion, the greatest minds could do all three at the same time.
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