Answering the Wrong Questions
I can't tell you how many times I've sat through classes, conversations, sermons, etc. that articulated quite well a great many subjects I could care less about. Over the years I've had a fair amount of questions answered that I wasn't even asking –for various reasons. Sometimes good answers came at a time when I didn't care about certain important questions, or maybe just cared more about different important questions. Sometimes, many times, whoever was talking was answering questions that no one anywhere was asking as far as I could tell. Whatever the case, I have developed the skill of learning to find something interesting about things that I don't care about. I'm a bit of a philosopher so exploration of most any subject is it's own form of entertainment.
But really I've
spent wasted far too much time entertaining myself by way of wading through irrelevant information.
What's worse is I've become a parrot –sometimes spitting information that no one in particular is looking for, falling prey to the narcissistic thought that because it's meaningful or important to me, it's something necessary or special to all mankind, which is silly as evidenced by the fact that I no longer even have an appetite for the music I wrote five years ago.
I don't think I'm the only one who feels talked at. I had coffee with an old classmate yesterday. We talked about the questions we were asking, difficult and genuine questions about how faith played out, questions that had often been left unanswered with well intended responses about this or that theological tenant, as if I hadn't heard these ideas before, as if they would satisfy my curiosity like shouting again and louder at a speaker of a different language.
But as we talked I also found myself thankful for the people in my life who have been comfortable enough with their own journey to actually handle my questions carefully, to hear then sit with me in contemplation, not hurrying to give easy or irrelevant answers, even if they had something up their sleeve. These people have allowed me to wrestle my greased pigs.
I also felt sorrow for my friend because he has spent much of his questioning life in an atmosphere that discourages asking and only knows how to answer a question or two with tracts. It is difficult to thrive as he has in an environment where your compliance is considered more valuable than your desire for the Way the Truth and the Life.
Because while answers to my questions are nice, they do me no good if I'm alone.