In the world of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers and Generation Y, I don't know what the kids who are currently in elementary school will be called; but I have a suggestion. The "I Know" Generation. My daughter Allie probably says, "I know" more than any other phrase in the history of her young life. Her dad and I can barely get a sentence out when speaking to her without an "I know" interruption. I must admit that I have a hard time controlling my sarcasm when those two little words pop out of her mouth. "Oh, really? What do you know? What was I going to say? HOW do you know? When did you learn that? Have you ever done it before?" It can be nut-driving to live wiith someone who - at 10 - always "knows". I thought this endearing personality quirk was unique to Allie, until I overheard the chorus of "I knows" coming from the backseat this weekend as she and her best friend conversed! Then just this morning I spoke with another mama who confirmed that "I know" has a very strong presence in her home!
Allie doesn't understand why these words are so aggravating to me. In her mind, she is just stating a fact. Whatever it is we are discussing, she honestly feels like she already understands. But I see it as a much larger issue - a heart issue. When my daughter says ,"I know", she is conveying to me that her ears are closed and that she really doesn't think she has anything left to learn from me. It is annoying when we are having a simple converstion, but can be downright disastrous when I'm giving her instructions. One example is cooking. She is always full of ideas about mixing ingredients together and how to cook them. Although I applaud her creativity, she seldom listens to the voices with more experience in the kitchen. And often concocts inedible messes. She doesn't yet understand that it takes years of following established recipes before she will be able to invent her own.
This past weekend, my family attended a conference put on by the Epilepsy Foundation. One of the sessions Chuck and I attended was on resilience - the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens (Merriam-Webster). The psychologist/ lecturer touted a study which found that being a life-long learner was one of the best predictors of resilience. In other words, we are better able to weather life's storms when we read, experience the arts and try new things. And we should constantly be challenging what we think and believe. I think the reason poeple are so quick to be offended these days is that we fear our beliefs being challenged. Deep down we fear anyone who acts, thinks, or believes differently than we do. And I must say, if we can't have a civil and - i'll say it - possibly interesting - discussion with someone who disagrees with us, our belief system is terribly weak. Proverbs 26:12 says, "Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them."
I'm so glad our church is joining in with 500 other churches in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth Metroplex to host a series called "Explore God". This movement delves into 7 big questions: 1. Does life have a purpose? 2. Is there a God? 3. Why does God allow pain and suffering? 4. Is Christianity too narrow in our culture? 5. Is Jesus really God? 6. Is the Bible reliable? 7. Can I know God personally? I want to challenge what I think I know about these huge life issues. I never want to just assume that what I've been taught is correct. If I'm wrong, I want to know the truth. If I'm right, I want my beliefs to be strengthened. If you are with me, go to ExploreGod.com to find a church close to you that is participating or watch the videos there. Go to 121cc.com to find a discussion group or attend a service or watch the message on the topic from the week before. Just don't do nothing. Set yourself apart from the "I know" generation and continue your intellectual and spiritual growth. Let me know if we can have coffee and discuss one of these topics. We might learn a lot from each other