God said to Joan, “It’s not about the answers; it’s about asking the right questions.”
— From the TV show, Joan of Arcadia
A dear friend of mine asked me a simple question the other day. Because of its simplicity, the question could have easily been discarded with a noncommittal kind of reply. No, I wanted to answer this question in all sincerity. I wanted to give an honest and genuine answer to my friend. I am sure many people may have thought about this question, but I wonder how many people have really sat down and meditated on it.
My friend asked me: If you could ask God one question, what would you ask?
I hate to admit it, but my first impulse was selfish. I thought that I might ask God how He saw me. Or maybe something like, who am I? Or, what will make me truly happy?
Nah. There is so much more in the world than just me. I thought about my friend. Will I meet her again some day in heaven? Then I thought of my mom. She had died back in ‘93 from ALS. Maybe I would ask God if my mom was in heaven with Him.
Boy, that’s a tempting question to ask. But with such a question, there is usually an answer, and I might not like it. If the answer was affirmative, what joy! If the answer was negative, well…I can’t imagine how despairing that would be to hear.
Maybe I would ask God something cavalier, like who really killed JFK? Or, is there intelligent life on planets orbiting other stars? Or, what expletive did Jesus yell out when he smashed his thumb with a hammer? (He was a carpenter after all.)
Or, what about one of the “big” ones? Maybe, what’s the meaning of life? Or, why are we here? Or, what happens after we die?
What about something more along theological lines? Like, how do I learn to know Your will? Or, how does the Trinity exactly work? Or, did Jesus really have to die to bridge the gap between man and God? Or why is there pain and suffering in the world?
Maybe, something more personal, like what does God see as the best and worst traits in humanity? Or, does God get tried of hearing all our whining and complaining and asking for this and that?
Maybe I could ask God to explain precisely why He loves us? Or, why did His Son sweat blood in Gethsemane? What did He pray for that night in the garden?
It seems that there are many questions I could ask God. The original question seems to beg for certainty in some small area in our lives. Something that we will never have one hundred percent. If we did, then it wouldn’t be faith, would it?
As a whole-hearted, committed Christian, one who yearns to be a good and faithful disciple, my faith has already asked all those questions above and many more. (Except for the JFK, intelligent life, and smashed thumb questions.) And at the risk of appearing prideful, the answers have already been given. I just have to open up my heart, be still, and listen humbly to God’s whispered replies. I also have to be willing to accept God’s answers and not expect to hear what I want to hear.
In a way, I can ask God any question I want right now, through prayer.
I think I know the question I want to ask God. I think I have been asking this question every day since I fell in love with Christ. The question is: How can I genuinely love You more fully?