Pondering

Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

Do the very things we take for granted do us more harm than good? Is assuming that the way things are right at this very moment is the way things will stay – forever and ever, amen – a good thing?

How did you feel when you became aware of a bit of new, ground-breaking information? What about the time you traded in your Razor for a Blackberry, and you discovered the joy of having a QWERTY keyboard for texting? The time you found a shortcut to work that shaved 10 minutes off your commute? What about when you found the perfect pair of jeans? Or the perfect shade of lipstick?

Discovering new things is an endeavor, and requires you to step outside your status quo. How would you ever know there was a “perfect” shade of lipstick if you didn’t try on several (hundred) non-perfect shades? How would you know there is a better way to do things if you didn’t branch out and try something new? In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong”.

What if we treated each day as a gift? What if we assumed nothing and discovered everything? I would venture a guess that we would exchange Quantity Time for Quality Time. What if we put that same effort into our friendships? We might say “Yes” to an invitation from an old friend instead of assuming they will ask again sometime in the future, thereby missing an opportunity to connect with them where they are at this moment in time. This moment is fleeting, and getting to know your friend, where they are right now, whether high or low, is a good thing. Is ignorance of the whole person really bliss? Does seeing them “warts and all” make them less desirable?

There are consequences when you take the time to get to know someone. If you are ready to love a friend when they are laughing as well as when they are hurting, then you are likely to laugh and hurt, too. It requires a willingness to empathize. Do we want others to fit *our* needs for a friend, or can we be available to meet them where they are and be what they need from another human being? Do we want them as a Lunch Friend only, and then when they venture off into Seriously-hurting-ville, do we stop making time for them?

I read an interesting saying the other day in my daily devotional, something like, “I am filled, only to be emptied again”. We are to make use of our time of sorrow and emptiness, not just wait for it to pass. To everything, there is a season… God ordains the sunshine and the rain, our joys and our pain. They are both beneficial. One of my favorite verses is:

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
(Romans 8:28)

Not just SOME things, the “good” things, the things we choose to see Him in. But ALL things. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I feel like I have recently been emptied, which gave me time to do a great bit of self-discovery. This led me to reexamine my own capacity for being a friend. The first thing I need in order to be a friend to someone else is to be a friend to myself. My desire is to *be* the kind of friend I want to *have*. I feel full once again.

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