I don't know.
I am writing to you today to offer you a permission slip.
Just like the kind I would pester my mum into writing for me when I didn’t want to do gymnastics in P.E. ,for fear of the inevitable embarrassment of my rugby player frame crumpling into a befuddled heap of oversized limbs.
I am giving you the permission to perform the radical and counter-cultural act of saying this utterly revolutionary phrase:
“I don’t know.”
There is so much pressure right now for everyone to have an opinion.
About the effectiveness of masks.
About conspiracy theories.
About defunding the police.
About the latest Rend Collective single.(A hot topic in the Irish/indie-folk/worship/ unseasonal woollen clothing space)
2020 has thrown so many issues at us that we may not have really considered before in any kind of depth.
There’s a strong chance that we aren’t actually experts in any of the discussions going on, yet for some reason there is a tremendous pressure on us to “have a stance”.
I know that for me, if you throw the kind of highly complex concepts that are doing the rounds at the minute into the hard drive of my brain (which has about the same processing power as the original Nintendo Gameboy), it’s not going to come to a genius conclusion any time soon.
So what if instead of wildly reacting we take a little time and wisely respond?
The magic words “I’m not sure - what’s your take on it?”, can buy us the time we need to form the kind of wisdom the Bible is always nudging us towards. And maybe demonstrate a little of the humility that’s so lacking in online discourse.
The book of James puts it like this : “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…”
Proverbs even gives us a hack for appearing smarter than we are and spoiler: it’s not posting a few hilarious memes!
“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”
We don’t have to add more noise to the already saturated space of people sharing their often unqualified and unresearched opinions.
It’s stressful and unproductive - and I know that from experience.
Our faith tells us that there is a whole lot of mystery in this world.
Maybe we don’t need to be in a rush solve it.
No need to panic, or try to have it all figured out right away.
You’re not preparing for a deposition before the Supreme Court - it’s okay if you don’t know everything or don’t even know enough to have a well-formed opinion.
It’s okay to sit one one out and stay quiet from time to time.
The Bible calls it wisdom.
And you, for sure, have our permission.