I was recently with a group of women for a weekend, and it was obvious we all speak and write. Rarely an hour passed without someone commenting, “There’s a blog post in that.” In other words, we could find ways to learn and apply lessons from just about everything we experienced. Our eyes and ears were sensitive to noticing usable illustrations. The more we noticed, the more focused we became, and the more we noticed. The momentum of the snowball of illustrations grew.
I’m a lifelong learner. I like to search for lessons I can learn from even the smallest of incidents. How about you?
- What do the types of posts you “like” on Facebook reveal to you?
- How does your style of packing remind you of your approach to life (or not)?
- What generalizations about your commitment to spiritual disciplines can apply to your life as a whole?
- How is your life like a puzzle?
- Replay the past hour of your life. What can you learn from it?
We’ve become accustomed to learning being about absorbing facts. We expect someone to tell us what the Bible says and how we should apply it. We listen to a professor tell us what’s most important for us to know. We watch a documentary and repeat the “facts.”
How often do you ask questions compared to how often you accept a statement? Learning is give-and-take. Yes, it’s listening, but it’s also interacting. In order to learn, we have to observe and ask questions. And we have to answer questions. It’s not that we have to provide an answer for every question we encounter. Seeking the answer is much more important. Along the journey of seeking the answer, we’ll gain more insight than we realized we were seeking.
Perhaps that’s why Jesus often asked questions. The Bible isn’t filled Q and As like an interview. The Bible is filled with Qs…and As…rarely placed side by side. The learner has to seek to fit the right questions with the right answers.
Want to flex your Q and A muscles? Explore some of the questions Jesus asked.
“And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” Matthew 5:47
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27
“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16
“Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, ‘Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?’” Matthew 9:4
“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?’” Matthew 14:31
“Jesus replied, ‘And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?’” Matthew 15:3
“ When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’” Matthew 16:13
“‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’” Matthew 16:15
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:26
“Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked.” Matthew 20:32
“But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, ‘You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?’” Matthew 22:18
“About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli,lemasabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’). Matthew 27:46
Are you trying to give a quick answer? Let each question serve as a brief pause along a journey. Rest for a moment and listen to what Jesus is asking. Ask questions in reply. Converse for a moment. Let what is said direct your next steps as you search for answers – and more questions.
Seek to learn. Learn to seek. Ask questions to find answers. Let answers spur questions.
There’s a lesson in everything.
“There’s a blog post in that.”