Quick to be Clueless

Author: Chaplain, Lt. Col. Brendon O'Dowd, USAF, (Ret.)

Photo by US Air Force is licensed under CC BY 2.0

August 31, 2018


To Quick to Respond

As a Second Lieutenant, I was clueless.  What’s worse, I was quick to show everyone how clueless I was, spouting off new-found knowledge to seasoned NCOs (who were surprisingly patient with me).  Quick to offer suggestions without considering the big picture,  I failed to follow the maxim: “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt” and the proverb that says “Even a fool, when he keeps silent,   is considered wise” (Proverbs 17:28).

The Apostle Peter was, in many ways, quick to be clueless.  The second half of John’s gospel traces Peter’s quickness and cluelessness in vivid images.

  • In John 13:36, Peter is quick to pledge his allegiance to Jesus only to be rebuffed by Jesus’ prediction of Peter’s three denials.
  • In John 18:10, Peter is quick to pull out a sword to defend Jesus from the mob that has come to take Him away only to be reminded of Jesus’ ultimate mission.
  • In John 18:25, Peter, who was all too ready to defend Jesus, quickly denies Him before a servant girl and a slave, and then runs away.
  • In John 20:4, Peter runs to the tomb of Jesus to find it empty, forgetting Jesus’ earlier prediction.
  • In John 21:7, Peter abandoned his fishing partners and their amazing catch, and quickly swam to meet Jesus on the beach.
  • In John 21:21, Peter quickly changes the subject from Jesus’ stinging rebuke to a veiled concern about John’s future.

It is tiring just reading about all of Peter’s frantic activities, and everyone one of them comes from an anxious–slow to believe–troubled heart.  That sounds like me, and if you are willing to admit it, a little bit like you.

We are already accepted

So why was I so quick to spout off my foolishness as a Second Lieutenant (and as a Lieutenant Colonel!)?  I wanted what most humans want, to be respected and accepted.  I unwisely believed that what I said would provide instant respect and acceptance.  Funny thing is, Jesus promises eternal acceptance at an eternal meal, and we don’t even have to pay for it.  He has          done all the work to ensure the meal is free and fabulous (Isaiah 55:1, Revelation 21:6).

The more I sit down and dine with Jesus, the more I will become like Him.  I just have to slow down and admit I am clueless.  Are you ready to do the same?



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