Discovering What You Never Knew You Didn’t Know

“We don’t know what we don’t know,” I read a few months ago. We operate often as if we have all the facts, know what we’re talking about, and understand everything that’s involved. We have seen the same thing multiple times, heard the same words so often we have claimed it.  Is it possible that we have missed something because we weren’t looking for it, didn’t understand it because we didn’t WANT to understand?

Several years ago, we were selling our ranch.  With all of our family gone, it had become a painful place.  Too many memories made it a place that conjured up grief time after time.  Before we put it on the market, I decided to explore.  I had been roaming this land since I was a little boy.  I knew the creeks, ridges, and ponds intimately.  But on that day, I realized that I had never visited certain pockets of forest.  I had never walked the entire fence line.  I had avoided certain thickets.  So, with a .40 cal on my hip, I plunged in.

And there I discovered a world I didn’t know existed.  A grove of live oaks was buried within the scrub brush and I found bedding areas within its shelter.  A ridge that I had only viewed in the distance was actually a cliff that had always been hidden by the thick foliage.  I realized that I had often wandered near its edge in the darkness, just a step away from a very dangerous fall.  On the most remote section of fence, a neighbor had built a gate and pen that was an opening to our ranch land.  It had been built recently and I realized that my neighbors were sneaking onto our land to hunt!

I didn’t know what I didn’t know about that land.  

Sometimes I will read a scripture that I think I know and understand well.  But I think that way because I have “seen” what I want to see, and I have “overlooked” what makes me uncomfortable.  I realize that I have not come to the scripture with an open mind and heart, but with one which has already made decisions and I read the scripture through my decisions instead of re-evaluating my decisions because of that scripture.

Will you say to the Savior, “Say whatever you need to say to me and give me ears to listen”?  Will you open the Word with a willingness to adjust your life to IT, or will you open it with the intention of bending God’s word to YOUR plans?

I didn’t know what I didn’t know about that land.  But discovery changed my understanding and shaped my actions.  Often, I didn’t know what God had said, but I assumed that I already knew.  And friends, that’s why I keep going BACK to the scriptures–even the ones I have read many times–because I know that God still surprises me when I do.