of cats, curiosity, and their consequences

Someone said, “Curiosity killed the cat.” We seem mutually afraid of and enamored with curiosity in contemporary culture. On one hand, there is a prevailing laziness which prevents people from accessing a dictionary when they encounter new words. Yet, they will follow the nonsense rants of celebrity twitter accounts throughout the day.  They want others to speak to them in language they understand (4th grade comprehension at best) so they do not have to humble themselves by looking up a word to learn a correct definition and spelling. 

There are some avenues of curiosity about which we should have a healthy fear. For example, I have no curiosity, whatsoever, about what Peter might have experienced when he attempted to walk on the water toward Jesus in the Sea of Galilee. I just don’t. I am happy to leave that discussion in the theoretical realm. Notice that I am still alive, too. Yes. This ole noggin’ knows its limits. I will not attempt to walk on water any time soon.

Yet, many other things do spark my curiosity. Words and their definitions fascinate me, particularly their etymologies, and the morphological dynamics undergirded by historical semantic influences. People also make me curious. Not just individuals, but groups of people and the cultural, linguistic, religious, political, interpersonal, and artistic dynamics which cause them to cooperate, adapt, or realign allegiances based on internal and external influences. Not sure what I mean? Just stick around a single group of people for several years. Watch the influencers, the supporters, the marginalized, etc. Watch how they interact, both through conflict and cooperation. Engage in the process as a direct participant, observing your own responses to the varied dynamics at play. Fascinating excursion for the curious.

Or, we could stick with watching celebrities trainwrecks on twitter or “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Cats do get themselves into serious trouble with their curiosity. That much is true. But it is a curiosity which lacks wisdom. So, the real challenge is to nurture a curiosity which is founded in wisdom, and which uses wisdom as its compass while it pursues avenues of discovery. There are consequences for unwise curiosity, to be sure. Likewise, there are consequences for avoiding wise curiosity. The key is to discern between the two, and pursue bravely a godly curiosity with wisdom as your compass.


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