August 30, 2009


'He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama'ria and to the end of the earth."'
- Acts 1:7-8 (RSV)

I want an answer, now. Today. Yesterday, actually.

I feel pressured to know the answer. I'm the game show contestant. You can hear that Jeopardy! tune, can't you? Write down your answer! Time is running out. The championship, big cash prizes, and the respect of Alex Trebek are on the line.

Only on Jeopardy! they want you to write down a question. The answer is a question.

What if I had to write down my question before the song was over? What if that were all -- the question.

I was driving in the car one day, on my way to church, as it happens. I was struggling and praying. (This was a number of years ago, but it reminds me that struggling on my way to church is nothing new.) Something strange happened. I heard a voice in my ear. I knew it wasn't out loud. My kids were in the car, and I knew they couldn't hear it. But I heard it. I heard it. The voice said, "You, ask the questions." You, as in me. Ask the questions. Not "figure out the answers." Ask the questions.

When I am struggling for an answer, I know that the problem is not that the answer won't come. The problem is in the question. It's the wrong question. The answer will never come until I ask a different question and a different question until an answer comes. So I should keep looking for questions. Not for answers.