There are very few people I can talk to about my dreams. Very few who won’t think I’m nuts, careless, arrogant, or a combination of the three, or who won’t respond with a veiled or not so veiled version of what happens when Icarus flies too close to the sun.
In my culture, people give lip service to faith and courage, yet raise their children to be afraid of God (versus being awed by Him), afraid of man, afraid of risk, afraid of the possible failure that risk brings, and afraid of the sure shame failure brings. In my culture, the wise man doesn’t rock the boat (even if that boat is sinking and people are asleep), doesn’t question the community (even if these communities require complete accountability from him), doesn’t consider doubt because doubt is automatically unbelief. But without shaking things up, everything settles into a nice peaceful bottom like silt. Peaceful, yet at the bottom. Without questions there can be no understanding, and what kind of a community preaches that we must be accountable to it, pay its taxes, and obey its laws, yet never question it? What kind of government promotes transparency without it being transparent?
In my culture, we don’t really want wisdom. We want security. We don’t really want progress. We want comfort. We don’t really want learning. We want dogma. We want superstitions that tell us that if we do this, we get that, no matter how life disproves this simplistic cause and effect.
Because in my culture, what we want to achieve most is our version of a lifestyle sweet spot, a standard of living that is religiously, traditionally, socially, and economically comfortable.
And anyone who decides differently, anyone who questions, anyone who blazes his own trail, anyone who says “This sucks. I’m going to change things.” Is nuts, careless, arrogant, or a combination of the three.
Everyone is a google away from the information they seek. What you seek, you will find.
In a world where access to information is so easy, what will differentiate good leaders is discernment – to choose rightly.
Discernment is the ability to sift between truth and lies, what’s mine and what’s not, what’s best among the good, what’s right. We have so many options today, to grow or to be stagnant, to learn good things or to fill up with wrong things. Want to get better at math? Want to become a better person? Want to learn how to parent? Want to learn more about God? There are resources available. Why do we find ourselves choosing to intake the junk that’s also available?
What will differentiate the wise and the foolish in this information buffet is the ability to discern rightly and courageously. In a buffet, where everything is laid-out, those who seek to be healthy will find choices to be healthy, and those who approach the table with no purpose, no discernment, will find choices for whatever it is they want.
More than the options and the available choices, it is the decisions we make and the ideas and people we embrace that will determine how our lives turn out.
Our choices matter.
Too many people google their problems to seek answers from strangers. Don’t wonder when the answer leads to pain. Google is great for giving information, for presenting the options, for showing the available roads to take.
Discernment sees many roads but seeks the right path, and which path is that? The path with our Father’s footprints.
Finally, we need the courage to walk in discernment. The right path is useless to those who lack the courage to walk it.