Idiot-Proof (1,118)

April 16th, 2011

It was springtime, 1994—a Saturday morning. I had risen from my bed early, having tossed and turned most of the night, apparently disturbed about something that refused to leap to the front of my mind for exposure. So I slipped out to sleep on the couch and I awoke grumpy.

I did not know what was bothering me. It was early and a few shadows were streaming across the room, so I just lay there and tried to figure out why I now possessed the disposition of my grandpa following a prostate exam. I started a tradition. I have done it almost every Saturday since then, but on this maiden-voyage day, it was much more difficult for me to unearth and fulfill. I simply ask myself three questions:

1. Where am I making an idiot out of myself?

2. Where am I making an idiot out of someone else?

3. Where am I trying to make an idiot out of God?

That morning seventeen years ago, my mind was suddenly flooded with immediate answers that troubled my soul but also simultaneously began to relieve my conscience. Primary on that occasion was the realization that I had an eight-year-old son who had never been to school, whom we had attempted to home-school, but still had failed to teach him how to read and write adequately. This fact—along with several other pieces of idiocy—was the reasons I was so disturbed and was therefore ultimately the grouch of the year.

I decided to change.

I set a date to enroll my son into school that following fall and devised a plan to teach him how to read and write, learn some mathematics up to his grade level, and some science and history to further enhance his package. We spent the next four months together having one of the most delightful times of our lives, tapping the roots of knowledge. By the time September arrived, he was tested and found to be at exactly the grade level he should be. He entered school and never had another problem.

I know there are those who would want to question the wisdom of keeping my son out of school until he was eight years old. I supposed I could offer you an array of reasons based upon our travel schedule and the work the family was doing. But you see, I don’t need to—because the first time you’re hearing about it is after it has already been repented of and resolved.

I can highly recommend taking Saturday morning and “idiot-proofing” your life. Just ask yourself those three questions. Where am I making myself an idiot? Others? And God?

Believe you me, unless you’ve buried your conscience in a tomb of cement, the answers will come quickly and freely, and if you have a soft enough heart, you can change your circumstances before they become dastardly—when still manageable as personal foibles.

But realize this—many things that are just problems that can be corrected become sin because we let other people find out about them.

Idiot-proof your life. It keeps you from becoming defensive when other folks offer their opinions—causing you to end up looking like even more of an idiot.

Published in: on April 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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