On Not Being Stupid

Have you ever realized that you missed something really important? Once, I missed a sign that said “Stage Door” when I was walking into a large gathering in my twenties. I have left countless cups of coffee sitting on tops of cars.

We have these moments in our lives when we realize that we have just been stupid. The old Merriam Webster’s definition of stupid:

a: slow of mind
b: given to unintelligent decisions or acts; acting in an unintelligent or careless manner
c: lacking intelligence or reason

dulled in feeling or sensation

marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting

a: lacking interest or point
b: vexatious, exasperating

We are all in moments where we act without thinking. Maybe it is because we are hurried to get somewhere, distracted, or grieving.

There are ways to prepare for life’s stupid-inducing moments. We can slow down, be more intentional, prepare. None of these is going to eliminate moments of crisis or grief, but they can help us to continue to be faithful to Christ in the midst of distress.

Slow down. We are commanded in Scripture to have a sabbath. And though we don’t live under the law as Christians, we are foolish to live a life of uninterrupted rush and hurry. We become susceptible to all kinds of foolishness when we are hurrying. We miss details, and we do not have time to think and respond, so we react out of no-mind and become stupid.

Don’t be stupidly busy.

Be more intentional. Look at what you are doing and have promised to do right now. Make a list. Look forward and make another list. Then see what you have to do in order to keep your word. Then see what you can do to be loving.

I am a “live in this moment” kind of person, so I am great right now. But, if I don’t manage my future and my present, I end up overcommitting or being unprepared. Then my good intentions go missing, because I did not have the time left over to do the good thing, the loving act.

Take the time in order to have the life you were meant to have.

Prepare. One of my “dad” sayings is, "The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in war.” I am sure it is from a teacher of mine, but it is now my reminder. Being prepared is about preparing for the thing right in front of you, but it is more.

Being prepared is about living a life that is set up for what may happen. I have jumper cables in my car, even though I rarely need them. I stay in shape in case I am needed to help.

So often, we want to respond to God’s call, but we are simply not prepared, distracted, or busy. Think of what God can do through the person who is ready, clear, and calm.

When you are ready, clear, and calm, you can respond to life and be a force for good in the world, bringing the light of the Kingdom of God to places of chaos and fear and hurt.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

To renew our minds, we have to be able to give them to God, to use them to think, and to be free and flexible enough to conform to the mind of Christ. We cannot do that in a hurried, stupid state.

So this week, just slow down. Breathe deep. “Be still and know that I am God.” - Psalm 46:10. “In returning and rest, you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” - Isaiah 30:15.

You just may find that you hear God more clearly, notice the important signs, and remember that cup of coffee you left on top the car.