I like asking questions of other people. Some call it nosey. I prefer to think of it as delightfully inquisitive. I can’t help it if I find people fascinating. Everyone’s got a story, and I’m happy to hear all of them. (I won’t use it in a book. I promise.)
Despite this love of mine for questions, I often fail to turn the meddling my way. Self-snooping hasn’t really ever occurred to me. How helpful could it be? Well, as it turns out, very helpful. My epiphany concerning the self-interrogation tactic came about after I got upset with someone last week. In the midst of my fury, one quiet query wafted across my burning consciousness.
“Why am I so upset?”
The answer came fast enough. Because so and so did such and such. I could have left it at that. You know, blaming, but then I rolled around to trying to put those emotions to work for me instead of me being a slave to them, and the question came back needing a more self-aware answer.
What is really bothering me? Why am I reacting like this?
I followed the rabbit trail and ended up confronting a fear that started in me long ago. Sorry to be so vague, but this isn’t my diary, and what you need to know is that asking yourself some questions can be a healthy thing.
The questions don’t even have to be brilliant. Sometimes it’s the simple questions that give you the most information.
Technical people understand this in a practical way. I hear a lot of questions going back and forth throughout any given day where I work. There’s this one guy who I think is a genius question-asker. No matter what someone says to him, he’s always got a question. Sometimes for clarity sake, sometimes to narrow down the focus, and always to get to the very heart of what’s being said.
And that’s the point of the questions we ask of ourselves—to get to the heart of the matter.
Why am I so upset?
What am I feeling?
What does this event remind me of from my past?
What do I need?
What do I want?
Am I hungry?
Sometimes we have to figure out where we are before we can realize it’s not where we want to be or vice versa. And don’t we all bear a personal responsibility to figure out our own stuff? God may know us intimately, but that doesn’t mean we have ourselves all figured out.
So spend some quality time with yourself, ask a few questions, and pray a lot. Some of the answers may not make sense or be especially clear. But fear not! God’s got you figured out. He can show you the way.