One of Dr. M.L.King, Jr’s favorite quotation begins thusly:
Vanity asks the question-is it popular?
Expedience asks the question-is it politic?
Cowardice asks the question-is it safe?
Conscience asks the question-is it right?
There comes a time when we must take a position that is neither popular, or politic or safe, but one must take is because it is right.
I have learned that life’s questions are far more important than life’s answers. So, I ask you what kind of questions are you asking? Are you on good terms with your conscience? What are you truly thankful for? What are you doing for others? How free are you from fear? What do you truly hunger for? Are you listening for the sound of the genuine in YOU? What constitutes authenticity for you? How do you live each day? Where do you find joy? Where do you find love? To whom are you accountable?
These and other questions is what I believe the stuff of life is made of. The more questions I have the better understanding I have of myself and the world in which you and I live. The more questions you and I have the more we keep searching. You see, the art of asking questions is the prelude to discernment. For example, when I ask the question “why is there war in Nigeria and Afghanistan” my question is more about discernment than the question itself. You and I must always be on the hunt for discernment which is preceded by asking questions. I ask questions about my sorrow in search of discernment about my need for joy. I ask questions about my fears in search of discernment about freedom from my fears. Notice that I am not asking for answers as much as I am searching for discernment about my fears. In my discernment I am led to discovery that allows me to ask more and more questions.
It is important for me to be on good terms with my conscience because it is my conscience that keeps asking me the question “is it right?” Is it right for me to worry? Is it right for me to remain silent when I know it is important to break the silence with my questions? I am always, always in conversation with my conscience. Sometime I am in a tug of war with my conscience because I am not always prepared to accept the consequences of what my conscience is saying to me. During this “tug of war” with my conscience I am on the hunt for something that is deeper and deeper inside of me. I know the deep inside of me is speaking to the deep inside of me and I long for some kind of discernment that will enlightenment me. The more questions I raise about the deeper side of me the more discernment I find, For example, I keep asking why it is so hard for me to forgive those who have waged war against my spirit. It is a legitimate question that keeps me working on ways to acknowledge I have more ground on forgiveness to cover. If I should stop seeking forgiveness for those waging war against my spirit I will have surrendered, thus putting a halt to my discernment. You see, it is discernment that flushes out the questions for my life and yours.
There is something quite liberating about asking questions. For example, when I ask questions about some of life’s mysteries I am emboldened by the simple fact of discernment of these mysteries. There is freedom in the questions because the questions lead me to other questions. As long as I keep asking questions I am involved in a process of keeping myself open to hear other questions. From these questions comes discernment and discernment creates other questions that nourishes my spirit. The purpose of asking questions is to nourish our spirit. My spirit is the pathway to my heart wherein lies my discernment. Discernment is also another way of saying I am enlightened. Enlightenment leads me to an awareness that I am on good terms with my conscience and that allows me the freedom to be me without making it difficult for you to be you.
There is fluidity in the asking of questions which keeps my activities alive. I am alive and my conscience is alive so long as my life’s questions are fluid. In journaling I raise questions over and over again that often leads me to an understanding of who I am in the presence of the God of life. As I wrestle with life’s dilemmas and as I seek understanding for those things I do not understand, I am comforted in the knowledge that I can ask questions from the depths of my heart and find even more questions in my life with God.
My goal is never to grow tired of asking questions. And remember, there is in God sufficient strength, whatever our needs may be.