I was inspired by a post this morning by Naked Pastor. I love the messages he shares through his art.
Today he shared about QUESTIONS.
In a nutshell: "Take up your question and follow Me."
Check it out for yourself on his website. Naked Pastor
His post got to me thinking about questions-specifically- asking questions.
How often do we go without because we don't ask?
How many of us exist in a state of confusion because we lack the nerve or the confidence to ask a few questions?
Do we put our health, well-being, and even our own spirituality at risk or in the hands of others because we are afraid to question so-called authorities and those who claim to 'know better'?
I used to be that way. Part of it had to do with my upbringing. This is not going to be parent-bashing blog. My folks did the best they could with what they had at the time.
They raised me in the same fashion they were raised- to not ask questions.
Even at an early age, I was an inquisitive, deep-thinker with a wild imagination. I needed to know: how, when, where, why. When I asked questions or dared to express a difference of opinion, rather than answer me or encourage me to broaden my horizons, my parents gave me a response from the following list of pat answers:
"Don't ask me why. It's because I said so."
":Do as I say, not as I do."
"Children are meant to be seen and not heard."
"Take my word for it."
"I don't care what you think."
"I said NO. End of story."
"You don't need to know."
"I'm the parent. That's why."
And.... the most frustrating response of all time:
"Stop asking! What are you writing a book?"
Truth be told, my dream as a child was to be writer. Oh, how tempting it was answer back.
"Yes, Mom. Dad. As a matter of fact, I am writing a book!"
But I knew better than to say that. :)
I don't know why my parents did this. Perhaps they didn't know the answers themselves. Maybe they believed it was for my own good. It's possible they thought if I respected authority and never asked questions, my life would be easier, manageable, successful and I would become a good, obedient, Christian wife some day.
I know it was not what my parents had planned for me, but I became a young woman with no mind of my own. I never asked questions and became an expert at keeping my inner voice stifled. I was obedient. I was a Stepford Wife. Okay, maybe not that bad.
Deep within, I was in turmoil. The result: years of depression. All because I was afraid to ask. I didn't believe I deserved to ask for or about anything so I went on for years without answers, without love, security, peace, a clear path for my life, and without God. The questions I had practically drove me mad. The older I got, the more serious my questions became.
I am talking deep, ethical, spiritual, I-will-blow-the-lid-off-everything-if-I-ask kinds of questions. I knew I would be rejected, abandoned, ostracized, alone. I didn't want that to happen.
We are all familiar with the phrase, " Don't upset the apple cart." That was my motto. I never wanted to inconvenience, upset or disappoint anyone, make waves, or get yelled at. I knew if I asked too many questions, especially selfish ones, it would upset the delicate balance of everything. Eventually the crying deep within my soul became so loud I could not ignore it.
I stood before the proverbial cart wondering what would happen if I rearranged or removed a few of those apples.
Well, of course the obvious occurred. There was an avalanche of apples everywhere. The beauty of it was this: each apple represented a question. I was now responsible to sort through all that fruit to find my answers. I carefully inspected each piece, asking myself: Do I need this? Do I want this? Can I use it? Can someone else use it? Can this be transformed into something else? Can this be sliced, diced, mashed or mixed with anything else to make it better? Will this help me, heal me, or make me sick?
Some apples were so badly bruised I had no choice but to discard them. Others were salvageable, so I kept those. I tasted a few. They were delicious and sweet. Some of the apples were rotten, worm-eaten, or just plain tasteless. I tossed those. Then I restocked my cart exactly the way I wanted it and pushed it where I wanted to go.
My apple cart analogy might seem silly but it's the only way I know how to explain it.
Here's what happened when I started asking questions: I found answers!
Some of the answers I discovered upset the apple carts of others. I lost friends. I found new friends. I lost my fear. I found my voice. I found peace, love, joy, and God.
And I haven't stopped asking questions since......
I question the doctor who insists I need a certain medication or surgery. Why do I need it? What are the side-effects? What do you gain by prescribing this to me? How will this change my life? Is there anything I can do instead of taking this medication or submitting to surgery?
I question the people who tell me I need a husband. Why should I have a husband? Will having a husband make me happier, more secure, or more settled than I already am? Would it make you feel better I had a husband?
I question those who tell me I should attend church regularly. Does God live in church? Does it mean I don't love God if I don't go to church? Will God only hear my prayers in church? Can't I meet with God in my living room, at the beach, in the woods? Does God love me any less if I don't attend church?
I question those who claim to love and serve God, yet hate homosexuals.......
I don't only rely on people for answers to my questions. I pray, I read, study, research. I turn over every stone until I am satisfied with the answers--until they sit right in my body, mind and spirit. I keep questioning until I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is the right answer for me.
Ask questions.....that's the first step in discovering the answers.
Even it means upsetting the whole apple cart.
The worst that will happen: you will have to pick up all the apples, pick and choose the ones you wish to keep, and put the apples back- the way YOU want them.
Jesus said, "Ask and you shall receive."
What will you receive? The answers!
Words of wisdom that are as true today as they were thousands of years ago.
And this is my Daily Cyn......