Isn’t it wonderful to sit down with a friend who looks you in the eyes and warmly begins asking sincere questions about your life?
Have you ever noticed that great authors are insatiable question askers?
How do you rate at asking questions?
Does anybody really know what time it is?
Okay. You get the point. Or do you?
Mark Twain once said, “In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from others”
During a recent phone interview with a newspaper reporter from The Tennessean, I was posed an unscripted question. He asked, “How would you describe your faith?” I hesitated for a few moments, and blurted out, “I suppose I would describe it as questioning.” Of course, when the interview was printed in a very high profile feature, the first sentence of my interview highlighted my “questioning faith.”
I must admit, I have received quite a few concerned and well-meaning questions about my “questioning.”
As I grow older, I find myself exactly as Mark Twain described most religious and political people. Influenced by others that I now realize had not examined questions themselves but took them second-hand from others.
So I began asking questions about my beliefs and convictions. And I began asking God questions. Because I believe any God that can’t stand up to questioning isn’t much of a God at all.
I will never forget sitting in a men’s Bible study with four other guys, including my pastor, at 6 am in the morning (which should tell those of you who know how I detest mornings how very important I viewed this time) asking this question: “Have any of you guys ever doubted the reality of heaven?”
The other three guys shifted uncomfortably, looked at the pastor, there was a slight pause, and he said, “Actually, uh, no, I’ve never really doubted heaven.” As I sat there feeling like a fool, the conversation quickly shifted to another topic.
Reading the Bible, I realized that as a question asker, I was in pretty good company. Some of my favorites include:
“Am I my brother’s keeper?”
“If a man dies, will he ever live again?”
“If God is with us, why has all this happened to us?”
“Do you think it’s possible for any mere mortal to be sinless in God’s sight, for anyone born of a human mother to get it all together?
I think it was Jesus (the son of God) who asked: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
And here are a few of my favorite questions that God asks in the Bible:
“Do you presume to tell me what I’m doing wrong?”
“Are you calling me a sinner so you can be a saint?”
“Do you have an arm like my arm?”
“Can you shout in thunder the way I can?”
So if you happen to talk to anyone that has been to heaven, have them give me a call. I need to ask them a few questions.
Am I the only one who asks questions laying on my pillow in the still of the night?
I apologize for all the questions, but here’s the last one today, what is one of your questions?