Monday, August 25, 2014

A Question That Could Alter Your Life

OK, that's not the question I had in mind, but the more I look at that picture I think to myself ... "That's really not a bad question to ask." I would often save myself a lot of trouble if I would just "not do that thing." But, the question that I had in mind is a lot more simple and less wordy. And, it's a question that has been used in the past and actually did alter the direction of someone's life. This question was just a very, very brief part of the WCA Leadership Summit. The speaker probably spent less than two minutes mentioning this, but it's what I remember most from his talk. The question is simply: "How's ____________________ ?"

This simple question altered the life of a man in the Bible named Nehemiah and we only see him ask the question one time. Nehemiah 1:1 - 2 reads "In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, Hanani, one of my bothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem."

The basic question Nehemiah asked was "How's Jerusalem?" The answer wrecked him. The place was in shambles ... "in great trouble and disgrace," we're told. Nothing was as it had been or as it could be. When Nehemiah found out the answer, he "sat down and wept ... he mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven." Once he found out what was going on, once reality smacked him in the head, he just had to do something. Once he did, the entire direction and purpose of his life was changed and my guess is that he never felt more alive than when it did. 

One of the things I'm trying to get better at is asking the right questions. Too many times I get worried with having the right answers when, in reality, the right answers often present themselves with the right questions. This question: "How's __________________ ?" is a great question to ask, because it will always provide an answer. 

How's your marriage?
How's your health?
How's your family?
How's your time with God?
How's your thought life?
How's your time management?
How's your generosity?
How's your humility?
How's your temper?
How's your job satisfaction?
How's __________________________?

But, the life change doesn't happen simply by discovering the answer, but rather what we do when we discover the answer.  If we are unsatisfied with the answer but do nothing, then things will remain as they always have been. But, If we ask the question and see things aren't as the should be or could be, we may be motivated to ask another great question: "What do I need to do to get me from here (where I am) to there (where I want to be)?" In other words, you may start one of the hardest and yet one of the most rewarding journeys of your life.  Getting from "here" to "there" is not easy work, but you may find that in the journey you'll become more alive than you've ever been, especially when we trust that through it all "God is for me." (Psalm 56:9)

So, "How's ______________________?" But, be warned: Don't ask the question unless you're willing to do something about the answer.

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