GOD sticks his head out of heaven. He looks around. He's looking for someone not stupid-- one man, even, God-expectant, just one God-ready woman. He comes up empty. A string of zeros. (Psalm 14:2, 3a MSG)
This evening the word ‘stupid’ has cropped up frequently in my thoughts and some of my conversations with others. Obviously I am not the target of such an accusation in these conversations or thoughts, but the prevalence with which the word appears suggests that stupidity has been the name of the game tonight.
Now stupid is a word that our daughters are not allowed to use with each other or in any given situation. As is often the case with the parental prerogative though, despite not being able to say it themselves, we can justifiably use it as sparingly as we do. Thank God for parental privileges, eh! Don’t worry, either. Despite being bereft of that word both Deborah and Abigail have taken on with great gusto the use of the ‘disgusting’. Such is the mixture of disdain and relish with which both use the word that I’m not altogether sure whether I was saving myself the hassle with the ban on the word stupid.
In any case as I journeyed through the stupid phase I got to the point where I discovered something that really did epitomise stupidity. For all of my best endeavours to support people out of stupid decisions, thoughts and acts, it would be really be stupid of me to a) get hung up on the person choosing to stay in the stupidity and b) take drastic action to remove the choice from the individual so that they were kinda forced to go along with my radical rescue package that of course would help everyone out.
Reference is often made to the so-called Prodigal Son and how he came to his senses and made the decision himself to return home to get some grub. I’d argue that circumstances forced him to that decision, and more importantly, it was not anything as such that the son did that restored his fortunes but the gracious loving act of a compassionate father to reinstate the dead, lost son to his place in the family. The point is that for all my informed opinions about people and their decisions, the stupid person lives without God which is all of us, but for the grace of God and so it is only because of Him that I enjoy whatever good things I have in life.
All of that to say that what keeps me from beating the bush about the stupid things other do is being reminded of the stupid things I have done and the arms of the waiting father rushing to greet me and Himself set me up straight with the robe and the ring. I have seen the loving Father do that to so many other people and it is as ever for me to look to Him and trust Him to do what’s best in all things and ask for mercy that will allow me to avoid making some of the stupid decisions that I have made in this short time I have had knocking about this glorious dust-bowl we call earth.
God have mercy on our stupid souls.
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:20-24 ESV)
For His Name's Sake