I’m a questioner; a details gal. If you ask me to do something I will ask you just how you want that done, when you want it done, how I could best go about it, etc. If you are trying to teach me something? I will probably ask about 50 (exaggerate for effect) questions and then the same ones in reverse order (exaggerate one more time to seal the deal) to make sure I fully understand the concept and information. Why do I do this? Because I care. I care that I do a good job. I care that have the right information.
In school I remember, in about fourth grade, a teacher telling me I asked too many questions. As a twenty one year old woman, I can vividly remember returning to my seat feeling embarrassed. I had annoyed the teacher. My classmates thought I was a “teacher’s pet” and a “show off” … so, I stopped.
I stopped asking questions out of fear of bothering someone… I stopped asking out of fear of judgment… and I started trying to figure it out on my own, when I didn’t understand. Instead of reaching out to someone older (wiser) who already knew the answer and how to “solve the problem.” It is an important skill to be able to problem solve and figure things out on our own; but, I would argue that it is equally (if not more) important to be able to reach out and ask for help when we need it…
The fear of bothering someone didn’t just stop with teachers in school. Whenever I found myself about to ask someone a question a little voice inside of me made me hesitate. “Maybe they have more important things to do?” “Why are you asking that? You should know the answer; that’s a dumb question.” “How many times do you have to ask before you get it?” Sure, public school teachers probably have about thirty to forty kids in a class at a time and don’t have the time to answer every single question (or the same question just from a different kid) that is thrown their way… but, that is their job. It was just a small comment made by a teacher (an everyday human) that was probably just having an “off” day, but it stuck with me. (We have such an impact on the little ones around us; I have learned and continue to learn the importance of watching what I say and how I say it. My siblings are such a blessing to me.)
I would find myself second guessing whatever I was about to ask or say to someone, cautious of being turned down, mocked or “made fun of.” Of course at the time, I probably didn’t link the two together… but, now as I continuously work through my weaknesses and look back, I remember this and can’t help but wonder if one had any bearing on the other. You may not realize how important questions are. They are what help us understand everything around us; our beliefs and why we believe what we do, how we are supposed to conduct ourselves, just how we go about achieving that goal/dream, the list is endless. When we take all of that upon ourselves and try figuring it out on our own… we don’t do a very good job. God is the only One who has all of the answers, and sometimes, we are even too scared to ask Him… (Although, *cough* He already knows that too.)
Then Mama happened.
Now, I am sure that many others had told me that there were “no silly questions” and to “just ask” but my young, prideful, selfish self wasn’t ready to hear that. Everyone had an ulterior motive and was just “lying in wait” to attack when the opportunity presented itself. Waiting to point a finger and laugh at the little girl who asked “too many questions” and was a “teachers pet.” It took time. It took lessons being learned and walls coming down for me to really hear what was being said… for me to realize, “Hey, the world (in fact) does not revolve around me and the entire human race isn’t out to make fun of me.” Huh… who would have guessed! (Does this sound like you too?) Mama repeatedly told and encouraged me every single time I would come timidly (thank the Lord for the patience He has blessed her with) to her with a question, afraid that I would bother her or say something wrong, that “there are no silly questions” that she “wants to hear every question” and that she “loves my questions.” Still, I remained cautious. Worried that I would bother her or take up her time… but, God kept putting things/thoughts/questions/concerns on my heart and mind leading me to her to ask.
I know that I can’t do this on my own. I know that I need the counsel, the advice and the opinions of those wiser than me. I also know that I don’t know everything and that I still have a million, billion questions that I need to ask. I don’t know what all of them are just yet… when I will ask them… or even who they are for; but, I am ready. We are here for too short of a time not to care enough to just ASK.
Is there something that is hard for you that you feel should not burden you so much? Can you look back and relate it to an event you can see with different eyes now?
Is asking questions easy for you? How do you go about it?
Who do you seek wise counsel from? What is one lesson from them you will never forget?
Until next time; I pray your day, every day, is blessed.