“The sheets on your bed say a lot about you Jacob. If you are faithful in the small things, God will be faithful in the little things.”
Not gonna lie, those words kind of haunted me. I tried with all my might to put sheets on my bed, to care, to see the value. And yet I found myself forgetting, not caring, or letting my bed divest itself of sheets during the night, only to not put them back on. It was a simple thing really, but the fact that my maturity was wrapped up in something so simple… that other people would judge me based off of linen… it bothered me. It bugged me. I couldn’t rest. Most of the world lived without beds, let alone sheets, and here I was, a cultural and societal failure based off of cotton. And I got mad. I wasn’t raised with the innate knowledge of sheet techniques. I slept on a couch most of my childhood, and it was fantastic.
Although sometimes I would roll off onto the coffee table and random pets wandering the safari zone (Anything that’s two feet below couch level). When I heard this spiritual posturing about sheets, I did the most mature biblical thing I know how to do.
I became a stubborn donkey. Feel free to translate that into KJV.
Can I tell you a secret?
I am not a virtuoso at guitar. I am not the best sports player. I cannot fly an airplane. For awhile, I couldn’t put sheets on my bed.
You know what that means?
No one in the right mind would expect a first-time guitar player to be able to play sweet riffs. No one would expect a random person from a jungle tribe to be able to play sports effectively. No one would be able to fly an airplane on the first go without training or some semblance of familiarity with aircraft.
So why do we expect so much of ourselves?
You see, the sheet thing hurt because it was such a normal everyday thing for most of America. Specifically the south. I wasn’t raised knowing the difference between sheet number one, sheet number two, Mr. Duvet cover, the duvet. I could use a beach towel and a sleeping bag and feel fine. In fact I could offer the amenities to a guest and feel myself a quite capable host.
“You sleep here tonight.” I say candidly pointing to the old Ebay bought remains of Lady Gaga’s meat suit.
When confronted with my sheer ignorance of a normal everyday thing. I felt like a little child. And I knew that’s how people saw me.
I can’t put up defense mechanisms anymore though. I’m not the only person on this journey anymore. I have to grow up.
I see in the future that I’ll be providing for Emily. This has caused me to google search, “How to not destroy the life of your spouse.” Because if I have access to all human knowledge in the palm of my hand, I might as well put it to better use then looking at all these cat photos.
Ultimately I’m learning how ignorant I am. Now to call someone ignorant, those are fighting words. If you call someone ig’nant on the street they might pull out a nine and make drainage holes in you. The term ignorant has taken on a somewhat insulting connotation…
“He’s ignorant!” is tantamount to, he lives in the woods and his family tree grows in. Uncouthe, uncultered, trashy. No one wants to be known as the guy who dates his cousin. So when we are called ignorant we defend ourselves, fight, and make a fuss. Or a hissy fit. Yet that’s not really what ignorance means.
One of those nifty websites with the dictionary things, says that really ignorance is a lack of knowledge. To not know about something in particular.
It says nothing about incest or Forest Gump like intelligence.
If I was to say, “Bro, you ig’nant about finances!” Most people would defendant themselves.
“Whatsay you evil and unloving soul! I am firmly educated in finances because I pay my bills!”
Most of us would not consider ourselves ignorant financially. I mean we’re not starving to death. But when pressed further, there is a suspicious break that occurs.
“Oh my bad, tell me of that IRA, 401k, stocks, bonds, futures, options, college accounts for your kids, the best mortgage values. I’d love to see your budget and how you are debt free with increasing wealth and very great future.”
Most of us at that point would have to say… we know very little of the inner workings of Wallstreet.
Is it possible to be ignorant of something and still a good person? Can someone who is ignorant not suck at life? Of course! It has nothing to do with intelligence. What I am learning though as I prepare for marriage, actually taking care of another life, is that I am utterly ignorant in so many things.
I am ignorant when it comes to cooking. I am ignorant in finances. I am ignorant about cars.
I say this because America is filled with independent minded people wandering around feeling too insulted to take advice and dulling out terrible ideas by the shovel full. And instead of realizing we are ignorant and correcting the problem, we are clinging to crappy techniques and clutching our sides in agony. Instead of fixing what can be fixed, we are shocked when we don’t know how to handle life.
This gets real practical.
You see some of us have secret addictions. Some can’t forgive our mothers and daughters. Some of us hate trying to fit in. Some of us feel lost in America.
So my challenge, as I’m finding so recently, is to quell the ignorance. Stop being offended, hurt, defensive about a lack of knowledge. See, I made the mistake of acting like a moron and not researching sheets and proper human maintenance techniques. I was too prideful to change. And maybe being prideful isn’t being as faithful in the little things as I thought I was.
I should’ve just grown up. Asked for help. Studied. Practiced. Learned sheet terms, read sheet blogs, and educated myself until it wasn’t an issue. Because at the end of the day, I can choose not to live a certain way, but I’m kind of a moron if I make a super-uniformed choice due to my own ignorance.
So what it in your life you need to train and learn about? Because it’s not embarrassing. It’s not easy to forgive someone who has hurt you. It’s not easy to learn to be a good father. It’s not a natural thing to know how to connect with social groups who are radically different. Instead of just accepting that though, quell the ignorance. Change. Read a book on forgiveness. When that is over, if you still can’t forgive. Read another book.
Because if every single aspect of life requires training and teaching, from guitar playing to house-keeping… is it not reasonable we can actually grow and change in the hardest parts of our life? Can you stop that porn addiction if you actually start studying addictions? Can you buy that car if you actually read a book on finances? Don’t know about weddings? Don’t assume you will know and don’t be hurt that you don’t. Go buy a book on weddings and learn!
It’s time to stop feeling inferior or wrong for not knowing how to handle aspects of life. No new-born baby claws free from the womb an brews a good pour-over coffee. Greatness takes time. It takes learning. It takes pursuing.
So that’s what I’m doing. Not birthing babies that make good coffee, although that would be a lucrative venture for an ant colony… rather I’m pursuing knowledge. Every single day.
And I’m learning. Everyday I’m conquering ignoring and I’m learning. I’m understanding and becoming a better person.