Questions

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“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”

-Thomas Pynchon

Professors hardly like being asked that which does not pertain to the subject matter. Never had I the opportunity to ask questions of deep meaning, something to stir the heart and not only the mind.

In Greek Mythology, thankfully, no one questioned whether any of the phantasmal stories were true, and equally unbelieving was the professor who taught it. And so our questions where aimed at merely getting the fantasy details straight, not intending to really understand them or to discuss their believability.

Unfortunately, not every class or professor is so relaxed about their subject matter. In geography, my professor, a scientist who actively studied glaciers and their movements, was unquestionably biased in his views of global warming. His world revolved around the large bodies of ice which melted at alarming rates in some areas and grew in others. To him, this was where the discussion both began and ended. Global warming was real and there was nothing else to it.

He was equally immovable in his stance on evolution, a field he had no authority to teach, it wasn’t his area of study. Presented first as a theory I wrote down the details as such, but once the test came around, the word “theory” had been removed. And the question before read clearly, “how was the world created?”

I don’t believe I received full marks on that particular test.

The point I’m making here is that the pupil was always either constrained or released to ask questions based on the open-mindedness of the teacher. And those questions reflected their level of freedom. In a class like the one above, one could hardly discuss the scientific proof against global warming, and so no such questions were raised. The teacher had the upper hand, and he decided what questions would be asked and answered.

Hence the quote above by American Novelist, Thomas Pynchon, ” if they (professors, teachers, politicians, scientists, and religious hierarchs) can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”  

Are we asking the wrong questions? Are we looking deep enough for the truth? When our hand shoots up in the air, does our heart go with it?

God pointed something out to me Sunday during the sermon. The word “question” was blown up big on the screen and I suddenly realized that the word “quest” is inside it. Ridiculous I know, that I should see such an obvious thing now of all times and yet it spoke to me. When we ask a question we are on a quest for truth.

A quest is defined as a “long or arduous search for something.” Or to put it more simply, “to seek out.” 

I fear that many of us are hardly willing to embark on a journey and would rather settle for some nice sounding answer. Whether it be a half-truth or a downright lie. Still others, I fear, ask questions only to promote their own conclusions. Instead of merely seeking, they seek validation for their own supposed “truth.”

And still, there are others who refuse to ask or be asked. They are the ones who long to zip up the truth, to hide it away and lead those who come asking on a wild goose chase. Why? If the real questions were ever asked, they wouldn’t have the answer to refute them. And so, in order to have control over the situation, they constrain you until only the wrong questions can be asked and answered without causing damage to their own agenda or egos.

What a malicious thought, but oh so common in our American society. We have simply removed the “quest” from question.  And soon, the entire word may just up and leave our dictionaries along with “freedom”,…unless we do something about it.

Christians seem to be given the label of “close-mindedness” by men of thought. But from one Christian to another we know the truth. We always ask questions! Only a fool would settle and (something the world fails to understand), only a greater fool would keep asking once the truth was found.

I’ve explained it before as a person digging a hole. They are on a “quest” to find the treasure (truth). After a time, their shovel finally hits something solid and they pull out the treasure box. The digger opens it to find that the treasure (truth) was not what he envisioned it would be. And so he tosses it aside and resumes digging, hoping that his ideal treasure is just underneath it…..he digs and he digs….forever.

Meanwhile, his friend who also found treasure has accepted it and has moved on to another hole to search for another treasure. This is a man who has found the answer to one question and is on a quest to answer the next.

We weren’t born Christians, merely, Christianity was the answer to one question, in this case, the greatest question of existence. It didn’t happen overnight, no we dug for years and we dirtied ourselves in this great quest. And we are quite certain of the treasure we have found, which actually far exceeds what we imagined!

Now with one question answered we go onward toward the lesser questions, but praise be to God that the lesser questions are that much easier to dig up now because we have Him as our guide and strength. Perhaps, the first quest built up our endurance as well.

I hope this example paints clearly the concept of both searching and finding. And I hope above all else that if you are reading this and aren’t a Christain, you will climb back into that hole you started digging, or perhaps pick up the treasure you found but discarded and give it a second look. You deserve to know the truth and to seek it for yourself, not to have others chain you down, removing your freedom to ask. Never take another man’s word, another man’s answer (which as you’ve read may or may not be honest), to such a question as this, your purpose for living.

Even as a Christian, I do not know the destiny God has for you, and no one can tell me my own destiny but God, and I must begin that quest alone. Another can’t do it for me, and nor would I want them to.

Put the “quest”, back in your questions and always have the courage to ask the right ones. Perhaps your venture into these new territories will lead others to such freedom in a society where the “Freedom of speech” is under great attack and scrutiny.

Ask. Seek. Find. and Repeat!

 

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