Monday, February 2, 2009


Too often in today's world we follow an unspoken rule: 'don't ask if you don't want to know'. The interesting part is that if we don't ask, we'll never know and thusly we end up carrying a burden. We have a habit of forgetting that questions bring about knowledge and a certain amount of freedom. We have this nasty tendency of focusing on the uncertainty of what we're about to hear. And in turn we become fearful. Stop me if you've heard this before 'the truth hurts'.
Ironically, the truth sometimes does.
Continuing on Rob Bell's book 'Velvet Elvis' we find a section called 'questions'. In this portion he points out that 'questions are so central to faith' because 'a question by it's very nature acknowledges that the person asking the question does not have all of the answers. And because the person does not have all the answers, they are looking outside of themselves for guidance'.
Lets look at the example Rob gives in his book: He gives us the example of Sodom and Gomorrah. You see, God told Abraham what he was about to do to the city, but Abraham questions God. In fact, Abraham is so bold that he keeps questioning God as if he were 'nothing but dust and ashes'. The interesting thing here is that God doesn't get angry with all of his questions and 'what if' scenarios. In fact, it seems that Abraham and God are having an intense dialog and perhaps that is what God seeks today. Perhaps He wants more from his people-'people who don't just sit there and mindlessly accept whatever comes their way.'
If you really think about it, there are many stories in the Bible in which we find those He has chosen to do His will-that end up questioning His logic. I mean Moses questions God and even tries to convince Him that He has picked the wrong person. David too questions God and whether or not God has left him (Psalm 13). And Mary, upon hearing the news of her Holy pregnancy-virgin birth, says: 'How can this be? I'm a virgin.'
So we all have questions and I think there is plenty of proof in the Bible that attests to that fact. It is true that questions are central to our understanding of God. And we're not supposed to give up that 'child-like' part of us. An interesting concept I learned while in college was brought up in class. One of my classmates was wondering why God would allow us to get sick. The professors response: perhaps He wants your attention-while you want to get well and get back to the way things were, He wants you to wake up and make a change. Basically, what I got from that was that God wants more communication from us, more dialog, more questions so that we-with God's help can learn and grow in our understanding.
'Freedom!' The last words of William Wallace according to Mel Gibson's adaptation/movie Braveheart. It's something we all seek really. In our questions we seek to free ourselves from the burdens we carry-the unknown and the not knowing drive some of us bonkers! But as Rob mentions, it's the 'naked, honest, vulnerable, raw questions, arising out of the awe that comes from engaging the living God' that really free us. Going to God frees us from trying to do it on our own-as we call it in ministry...the 'lone ranger' approach.
So next time you think you NEED to go it alone, remember this: truth always leads to more truth! Never give up asking questions...because you won't find any freedom in it.

1 comment:

Holly said...

Lovely and true! Great job once again!! I am one of those who dont ask as many questions as i should and find myself steering away from Him when things are good, when i should constantly be asking questions and talking with Him regardless of whats going on in my life. Thanks for reminding me of my commitment with my Lord! I U!!