Friday, April 24, 2009

What Do You Do When You're Stupid?

As Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid."

We laugh because we know people who are stupid and can't seem to be fixed because they continue to do stupid things. Even after they do stupid things and they recognize that "that was stupid, why'd I do that?", they do stupid things.

But what do you do when you're angry and you do stupid things? You hurt people. You create problems within relationships. Especially when you are so sure you are right in your anger only to find out later as someone you love and who loves you confronts you with the stupidity of your actions. You feel your "rightness" slowing dissolve in a wave of realization of what you've done. You feel a knot in the pit of your stomach that expands as the reality of what you've done sinks in. It slowly effuses through your body and mind and the stark idiocy of what you've done sinks in deeper and deeper into your soul.

You ass.

There is an old saying that I hate because of its truthfulness: you hurt those you love.

You realize, in horror at times, that you've just set back your relationship with the person you were stupid to by a million years. And as they look back on their life in later years what you did will stand out as a defining moment in their life. When where they were headed was suddenly and horribly jerked another direction. When all they knew and thought was safe and right was blown away by the stupid actions of one they love and who is supposed to love them. When both you and they cannot believe you would do such a stupid thing.

It tears at the heart and soul. You realize you cannot go back to the way things were. There will always be this stupid incident that will be forever there, unspoken but always the unwelcome guest at every encounter between the two of you. The one thing that will always nibble at your conscious. The one thing that will always be in the back of their mind, "can I trust him?"

And it's the anger you hold inside that makes it worse. Because you don't want the anger. You've asked for God to get rid of it but it's still there. The anger does nothing good for you. It eats at your soul. It creates flashes of incredibly ugly thoughts. It is a cancer on your mind and soul. You fight it and it wins. You ignore it and it gets in your face. You beg and plead and bargain with God to take it away for pity's sake and yet it still shows up right when you least expect it and at the most inopportune time. You cry at the affects of your anger. At the pain and hurt you cause even to those to whom the anger is not focused towards nor to whom the stupid actions are not carried out on.

You beg for forgiveness but forgiveness doesn't come. And that eats at your heart as well. All else goes by the wayside until you find that forgiveness. You wait, hurting, stomach churning, mind whirling, waiting for some indication that that person has chosen to forgive you.

God seems strangely quiet in these times and yet He seems right there; not speaking, not intervening, just there. He reminds us actions have consequences. He reminds us the enemy loves to destroy. He doesn't say how He'll answer or when He'll answer and that makes you want to doubt. You know all things work out in time for our good and His glory but those seem like empty words, echoing in the dungeon of despair you've put yourself into. You try to grab a hold of any scrap of hope and when you do you hold on for dear life. You squeeze your eyes shut and hope and pray for the pain to go away. For love to reassert itself into your lives and your tattered and wounded relationship.

Then you start the long process of rebuilding. Something you've gotten good at because you tend to break things on a regular basis. You pray. You forgive. You ask forgiveness. You try to recognize your weaknesses and once again, give them over to God and hopefully this time you won't take them back like a petulant child. You need constant reminding from others of what to do. You feel like you've gone back to kindergarten and are having to relearn all you've already learned. You wonder if you'll ever figure it out this side of eternity?

You trust God. It's all you really have. Your faith is a long rope with a knot at the end which has grown tattered but somehow retains its resiliency. You start the climb again hoping you'll never slid back down to that tattered old familiar knot again. Daily you try to give over the anger and shame and humiliation to the only One who can handle it. You hold on to the truths you know are true because they are tried and true. You pray. You heal. You see the scars for what they are; reminders of the old axiom, "Stupid hurts."

Don't be stupid.