Do you ask interesting questions? Are your questions leading you towards life?
Let me clarify what I mean.
Someone wants to go to school to be a veterinarian. They pick up a course listing for a local university and see things like “Canine Gastrointestinal Structure I” or “Basic Feline Diseases” (I’m making these up, obviously) or “Skeletal Structures of Hamsters and Other Rodents.”
You get the picture.
The student's response to that list is likely: “Wow, I don’t know any of that stuff. I get to learn that and then use it? Awesome.” The most interesting question is “What do I need to know in order to complete the steps of becoming a veterinarian?”
If that’s not their response then a) they aren’t cut out to be a vet and b) if they go to school they won’t make it.
Now, flip this scenario to the church.
Someone wants to follow Jesus. They then start looking at His teachings and see “Love one another” or “Bless those who curse you” or “Give…do not expect anything in return” and the response is what?
I don’t know any of that stuff. It’s too hard. I’m not going to pursue it. I’ll punch my ticket to heaven and wait it out until then.
The question that drives a veterinary student is “How good could it be to know the things I know to help heal sick animals?”
But what drives most Christians when they think about their future? “How do I believe the right things so that I don’t go to Hell when I die?”
This isn’t a vision for life, it is an antibiotic for death.
So is that all there is? Now this to me is asking a more interesting question than where we go after death. It is a question that begs more questions, and for each morsel of insight we have a bigger spider web of new things to explore.
Sadly, the life of discipleship many people know requires us to drop inquiry about what we are to become, here and now, as disciples of Jesus. Doing this creates a life of flat lines and shades of vanilla, but bucking this and becoming a curious disciple creates color and beauty beyond description.
So here’s the reailty: Many of us who claim a relationship with Christ today are experiencing death by uninteresting questions. It isn’t sin, it isn’t evil, it is simply “drifting.” Dallas Willard says it could be “Christian drifting” but is drifting really what God intended?
We often settle things too easily and then we consider the matter closed until our “ticker” quits “ticking.” In the meantime, life and experience or even the Holy Spirit itself presses buttons and causes crises that we can’t reconcile with the questions we’ve already settled. Now, we have a choice to make. How do we respond?
Jesus says that the Spirit that dwells in each of His disciples will,
“…guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13)
Who guides? The Spirit. How do we get to the truth? Sometimes it is by the sheer grit of belief, but more often than not in my life it has been by asking more interesting questions. In moments of crisis, tension, disbelief or shaken belief, we have to seize that as a time to ask the most interesting questions of our lives.
More interesting questions are these:
If I really died and was raised in Christ (Romans 6), how do I live through my fear of death?
If I call myself a disciple, what does that mean for the way I forgive my spouse for infidelity?
If discipleship is the process of being apprenticed to Jesus, what kind of student am I? What training do I need to handle my bigotry, compulsiveness, and deep past wounds?
How do I follow Jesus when I feel like my understanding of Him and belief in Him is at a different place than the mentors I once took instruction from?
Those are interesting questions.
So what’s an interesting question for you as a disciple today? Write it down and put it to prayer, courageously naming your question to God. I wonder if life won’t come springing up in its wake?