349. Wisdom of IDK

349. Wisdom of IDK

It happened many years ago. One of the students I know gave me a parenting tip based on a book he read. I’m sure the intention was good, but I felt pretty repelled by that. After some thinking, I realized I was irritated by the assumption, “I read about it, so I know about it”, which I found arrogant. But I also realized I must have done something similar when I was in my 20s.

We have many single people in our church. One thing that I wish all single people know is that there are things they will never understand until they experience them. Many single people find it offensive when older people (including their parents) tell them “you don’t understand how it feels like to raise a child”. They resist saying, “I should know something about raising a child based on how I have been treated”. But, when older people say that, they are not pointing out your incompetence. It tells you that it is a “mystery” to you. Because there is no experience in single people’s life that is remotely equivalent to having someone so dear to your heart that you want to protect and provide at all cost. It is an unknowable experience for single people regardless of how much they love and cherish their best friend, sibling, or even pet. It is a completely foreign experience. Embracing it, instead of resisting it, is important because one purpose of mystery is to humble us so we learn to trust and listen.

One of the main doctrines of Christianity is “incarnation”, God becoming a man. This is a mystery because there is no equivalent human experience that is remotely similar. And such mystery humbles us, as it behooves us to embrace it, not understand it.

It might be a bit of generalization but from my experience, in our 20s, we think we know because we learned about it. In our 30s, we realize we didn’t really know what we claimed to know in our 20s. In our 40s, we begin to understand what we claimed not to know in our 30s, not because we got smarter but because we got better at embracing the mystery, seeming inconsistencies in life.

To know something about it is not equal to know it. God allowed many mysteries in life and they are wonderful treasures. Because they remind our finitude, and open our eyes to the unknown that can only be known through humble embrace and patience. “I will only understand it later” is one of the wisest things to say for single people. Because certain “knowing” takes time and cannot be fast-tracked.