Not being a fan of traffic, I tend to drive home from work a way that’s a little longer. The green space I drive through, the fewer number of cars, decompress the inner tensions from the day.
One of my favorite parts of the drive is a road covered by a canopy of live oak trees. They crest the road with leafy green that allows the sun to dapple the pavement, a kaleidoscope of light and color. It’s close to home, and it’s that last little bit that puts a grin on my face. I enter the house with a sense of peace.
I drove three-year-old Brooklyn this way, and I commented on the beauty of the canopy of trees that shaded the street and let just enough sunlight through to not be squinty bright.
“We’re in a can of peas? Where are the peas–and the can?” Her comment had me laughing.
It was a legitimate question. She had no context for tree-shaded streets like the ones I came to love where I grew up. She’s been raised mostly in southern Florida, and I’ve never thought palm trees make acceptable canopies.
It took some explaining. She ended up calling it a tree umbrella, which fit as well.
Apart from having some experience on which to base her understanding, a canopy might as well be a can of peas.
New people and places, unusual experiences, anything unknown can cause me to respond poorly or inappropriately because of a lack of knowledge.
I can’t understand what I haven’t had the opportunity or taken the time to know.
Our family went on a trip to Thailand years ago, and none of us knew the proper way to greet and interact with the people there. We didn’t know the language, but many Thais spoke English. We tried to learn some words for the short time we were there, but we could only get a few statements right. American are often seen as boisterous, loud, and arrogant. We wanted to get to know these people, but what we didn’t know could easily have become a problem.
We chose to learn.
When I began the job that I’m doing now, I had more questions than answers. I enjoyed working with people, but I wasn’t adept at asking the right questions or knowing how to listen deeply. I’ve invested time to learn these things, to become a better coach. A process that continues.
I choose to learn.
Many see God through a framework of misunderstanding, a lack of context. They prefer to listen to what others may say about Him or look at caricatures of Him presented by others, instead of choosing to learn about Him themselves. They presume to know Him with no personal contact and no interest to investigate Him.
Without choosing to read about Him in the Bible or talking to those who have a personal relationship with Him, it’s easy to get sidetracked on minutia that doesn’t matter. Or just isn’t true.
The lack of understanding could have one thinking on the level of a can of peas.