Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Knowing Stuff

Elizabeth George, pastor's wife and writer of one of the most practical books on being a woman of God A Woman After God's Own Heart, speaks of the need for women to have fat files, five fat files to be exact. Fat files are what might be called areas of expertise that Mrs. George encourages women to possess.

The idea of those fat files made quite an impact on my newlywed self and I have taken up and simplified the idea to make it more my own over the last 17 years. My theory is perhaps an oversimplified nod to the five fat files way of living, but it works for me. Here it is:

 I believe that everyone should...

Know Stuff.

I'm a simple gal who is a bit overwhelmed with idea of keeping up-to-date on five whole categories of information all at the same time. I have instead taken on one topic at a time and then, when I've learned all that my brain can handle on that subject, I move on to the next thing that either interests me or lands in my lap. My local librarians can attest to my cyclical interests as the books I request on one subject at a time begin to pile up under "W" on the shelf behind their desk. In the past year I've researched various areas of technology, Mexican cooking, baking, and collections of essays. 

I do not think that this method of taking in information is unique to me, however, I know folks and they know stuff too!

I have a friend who knows pie. She makes me want to know pie too! Her pie crusts are simply amazing especially when filled with peanut butter pie filling!

I have another friend who knows how to train for and run in races. She does NOT cause me to want to run long distances, but she does make me dream of being in much better shape, (and of being tall and thin...but I digress).

Another of my friends, knows how to work with children, who are and who are not her own, in the public school system, so that they stand a better chance of achieving success in their studies. She makes me want to be sure my own kids are achieving as much they should be as well. (She also knows how to make this killer orange cake with white icing that makes me want to forget about my earlier wishes to be tall and thin.)

And then there is my friend who knows science--lots and lots of science. When I met her I asked her if she worked "outside of the home." A strange phrase which seems to assume that if you work outside of the home that you don't also work your tail off inside the home too. It turned out that she did both. She  said that she was a teacher and she would have left it at that but I asked what she taught and where. It was then that I learned that she taught college students and that she had special letters before her name! Wow!

This friend, while I do need to know some science, does not make me want to know biology on a college level, she makes me want to know how to know stuff without being arrogant about it. She knows stuff, tons of it, but you'd never know it by the way she handles herself. I want that too.

I have another friend whom I've known for merely 5 or 6 years, but I feel like she's known me forever because of her unique talent.  Her talent is asking and listening. She seems to know just what to ask and then listens intently to the answer and I suspect she hears all of my answer, both the spoken part and the unspoken. This dear friend makes me want to be a better listener, a better discerner of the hearts of those who choose to spend their words on me.

I sat down at the computer tonight to attempt to communicate the importance of knowing things, the importance of continuing to grow in knowledge even when it's not required of us. We need to know things just because the knowing is good for us. 

As I finish recording these thoughts on knowledge, I find I've learned something else...

It's not just the knowing of stuff that benefits a person, it benefits a person tremendously to have friends who know stuff too! 

"...the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it."   ~Proverbs 7:12
"Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm." ~Proverbs 13:30

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