Any Good Questions Recently?
The phone call came from across the country. My friend, from whom I have not heard in a long time, called to ask me a question. It was a serious question about a situation in her church. She trusted me enough to ask a question and then listen. At a dinner recently, I sat with a couple who could not ask a question if their lives depended on it. All they could do was spout opinions; learned, errudite, opinionated. Conversation with them was more like fencing than dancing. Thrust, parry, jab, SCORE! For some reason, I have been attentive to times when genuine questions are asked, and I find them few and far between. Certainly it does not happen on TV talk shows or panel discussions. That's often more like verbal warfare than a genuine exchange of ideas. Our political landscape has become so polarized that we have devolved into a nation of "real Americans (like me) and everyone else, Patriots and everyone else, Christians and everyone else." (Ray Suarez' new book "The Holy Vote"). Even blog sites like this can be places for spouting without dialogue, one-sided air-horns blasting into cyberspace.
Who's asking the questions today? When is the last time someone asked you a question and then waited and listened to you? How about in your marriage and family? Parents, are you asking questions that run deeper than tasks and responsibilities? Spouses, are you asking questions beyond calendar and budget? Church leaders (denominational officials) when is the last time you came to a church to ask questions and listen instead of promoting your agendas?
I have been reading through the Bible for years, underlining all the questions. I've found that God is a great question-asker. In fact, God asks the best questions ever asked: Adam, where are you? Who told you you were naked? Where is your brother? Wow!! And more than that, God really listens to our answers. Worship needs to be more about great questions than well-crafted answers. Questions mean mystery. Questions bring dignity and ownership. Questions imply mutuality and relationship. Questions create trust and intimacy.
Any good questions out there?