Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Spirituality of Idiocy

I am not a champion skier. I'm not even a marginally good skier. And lucky for me, neither was my skiing partner last Tuesday. We did go to the mountain with a couple of champion skiers who were supportive and helpful, mainly by not laughing hysterically when we took twenty minutes to move two feet to the ski lift. And in our ineptness, our lack of skill, even our idiocy at tackling a beginner run that seemed like the course for the Olympic finals in downhill-go-at-speeds-for-certain-death, we reveled in the spirituality of idiocy. Basically, doing something that invited us to remember we were indeed far from perfect and error-free.
Priests are not alone in the weight of supposed to know stuff. We often are invited into people's lives when all hell has descended. The diagnosis is terminal. The perfect child has a drug problem. My husband left me. My wife abuses me. I don't believe in God. Can you help me?
We can try, but we can't fix lives. We are mere humans with our own problems, humans who ski into snow banks and end up with skis in hawthorn bushes and have problems of our own. But too often, we can believe the hype - that we can fix things, that we do know all. Humility gets buried, and we forget to fall on the knees of our heart before God.
Not exactly a sin exclusive to priests, either. We human beings like to be smart, to know the answers, to get the gold star of approval because we are wise, intelligent, or reflective. But the truth is we aren't all that smart. We don't know it all. We make mistakes (though we aren't that willing to admit our mistakes). We, in fact, know very little in the vast realm of all time and space, which is a good thing. Admiting our unknowing should make us curious, inquisitive, even daring in our imaginations. So while we might dazzle some with brilliance, we do not baffle God with our bullshit. God knows we are loveable idiots, foolish and unwise. Loves us anyway, which is nice to know. So these weeks of Lent, do something, even one thing, that bubbles up the absolute beginner in you. Try something you are wholly and completely clueless about. Experience the joy in not knowing, of being oblivious. Enter into the spirituality of idiocy and laugh at yourself. Feel humble and unwise. It's a good place to find God.

No comments: