Guest Post by GINNY Owens
“The one who asks questions doesn’t lose his way.” ~ African Proverb
Does anyone else love saying “Pokémon” as much as I do? The word makes me think of pocket-sized monsters with Japanese accents. I’ve been fascinated by the Pokémon Go craze because there is so little of it I can comprehend. For a couple weeks now, I’ve been asking around to see who’s playing the game so I could interrogate them. This week my friend Katy saved the day, sharing all her Pokémon knowledge. Bless her kind soul.
When Katy agreed to teach me the ways of Pokémon, I don’t think she knew what she was getting into. I had lots of questions. And then more questions. So very many questions. But now, at least on some level, I understand this mysterious game I can’t see. I didn’t realize you find different types of Pokémon depending on where you are–urban ones, forest-dwelling ones, lake-dwelling ones. And I learned Pokémon aren’t furry little monsters that speak Japanese in a Grover voice. There are snakes, dogs, mice and tumbleweeds. I still haven’t found a way to visualize the one that’s part mushroom part dinosaur.
I even downloaded the Pokémon app. It isn’t compatible with my speech software, so Katy signed me up and walked me through it. We immediately found a squirtle nearby, which is apparently a super-rare Pokémon species. Katy explained the process as she captured the squirtle with the Poké Ball. Then she enlightened me on going to Poké gyms and joining Poké teams. We’re going to go on a real Poké adventure together soon. (I made that term up.) I am now very Poké educated. I do have one more question: Does the plural of Pokémon have an “s” on the end?
The Question Phenomenon
Have you ever considered the phenomenon of having your questions answered? God has wired us for this Q&A interaction; no other species has the ability to ask questions like we do. One simple question can change your mind, your knowledge, or your life. Crazy, isn’t it?
As a blind person, I ask so many questions. I ask my Lyft driver on which side of the road he is dropping me. I ask my dinner companion if my hair looks a mess. I ask my co-writers what time we’re meeting or if they feel good about the line we just wrote. I ask those in my space how their day is going. I ask the waitress if I can have my salad without cheese. And I ask my friend what color his new puppy is. I probably ask 500 questions a day. And the answers I get shape my perspective and my life.
I used to be too preoccupied and intimidated to ask questions about things I didn’t know. But over time, I’ve learned the power of a question. In order to gain knowledge or understanding, I must ask. Asking questions also inspires conversation. I want other people to ask me questions too, so they can know me and understand who I am.
Questions for God
My faith is informed by the answers I uncover as I ask God what is important to Him. When I come across confusing passages of Scripture, for instance, I question other Bible passages and wiser friends who can shed light. In prayer, I remind myself daily to lay before God whatever is on my heart, especially when it is a question. Questions are important. The psalmists asked questions of God all the time: “How long, O Lord,” (Ps. 6:3) “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Ps. 10:1)
I’ve learned the importance of asking God my questions, because I know what happens between us when I don’t. I get irritable and cold with Him. I begin to doubt He understands me. But when I lay it all out to God, He and I can both hear my question. And I can begin listening for His answer. The same distance happens when we withhold questions from people we love, so shouldn’t we put ourselves out there and ask the tough questions? Maybe the more we ask questions, the better—and easier—it gets.
Questions keep us vulnerable. They remind us how much more we have to learn, yet they are one of our most powerful tools. Let’s use our questions this week. Let’s ask fearlessly and faithfully. Ask ten questions you’ve been wanting answers to. Maybe a couple of those are scary to ask. Or maybe they’ve simply seemed too unimportant. Go for it! And give me a shout on Facebook or Twitter to share some of what you’ve learned. I’d love to hear!