Everyone wants to be right.  We want to know the answer and we want others to know that we know the answer.  Our egos like to creep their ugly heads into casual conversations and board room decisions moving our mouths and closing our ears.  There is such a temptation for us to have an answer that we speak presumptive,  and like all temptation the very thing that feels right can become the prison of our own choosing.
My wife and I have been traveling with a week old baby and our toddler which has provided us some unique parenting opportunities. If you’ve ever spent 3 hours helping your child get to sleep in a hotel room then you have some appreciation for what I’m talking about.  The changing locations, different noises, adjusted schedules, long car rides, etc… place a high demand on you.
We love this little man!
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We love this little man!

Today Lucas woke up well before his usual time.  We did our usual routine of changing his diaper, putting on a new pair of pajama pants, singing some songs, and bringing his stuffed puppy dog. He had a little snack and ran around trying to find the thing that would ease his tired body.   After 30 minutes I took him back to his pack and play and said to him, “Lucas I don’t know this for certain but I think that you’re tired and that your body needs to rest more.  So, I’m going to leave you here in your bed to help you understand that your body needs to rest.  If I’m wrong and you still are ready to be awake and crying then in 10 minutes I will come and get you out of bed.  I love you very much.”  Praise the Lord that 8 minutes later the crying stopped and he fell asleep.

The truth is I didn’t really know what was wrong.  Maybe in a few more years with more experience I will have more confidence in my approach but today it was more about an honest plea.

I think that life presents us many of these moments.  We have an idea of what the problem is but if we are honest we don’t really know.  People may listen and affirm our observations as if our ability to identify a problem is some herculean effort of intellectualism.  Our insecurity tempts us in our conversations and decisions to diagnose the problem without any forethought of the solution.  This pattern has an appearance of wisdom but lacks any power to transform our lives or the situations around us because wisdom is not the ability to identify a problem.  Wisdom is not an answer but a pathway that brings change.  Wisdom understand that knowing right and being right are not always the same.

Maybe it looks more like “I don’t know this for certain but I think this is what you need… let’s try it out and see how this works and if we’re wrong we can come up with a different plan”?

Do you find yourself confronted with the temptation to give a quick response?  Are you wrestling with the uncertainty of your decisions and the long term consequences they will have?  If you are like me, maybe you it’s time to begin with an honest plea and give it a try.

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