Sunday, September 25, 2011

Being Curious

It's amazing how narrow in outlook people are content to remain. Ask someone:

Politics? Nope. Not interested. All crooks.
Race relations? Not my concern.
Hunger? I'm not hungry so why should I care?
Have you read ...? No time.
What about the euro? It doesn't impact me.
Entitlements? People should get a job.
Religion? To each his own.
Sex trafficking? What?
Educational equity? Don't know what you're talking about..

There's a whole lot of shrugging of shoulders, rolling of eyes and dramatic utterances of 'whatever' these days. Or there is the parroting of a very narrow political or religious perspective that hasn't really been though through very carefully on our part. And I wonder ...have we forgotten how to be curious?

I don't expect people to know about everything but I do expect people to know about more things than they do. We live in a global community. Our lives intersect in very interesting ways. Issues are complex. Without a desire to know about things that matter we are in danger of living lives of extraordinary selfishness and dramatic sinfulness. Without curiosity we are in danger of retreating to ugly little ghettoes of pop culture tweets and text messages where we know a whole lot about things that don't really matter.

What do we need to be curious about? A good starting point is to be curious about the things that break the heart of God. For instance, we need to be curious about things like the plight of the poor, the widow, the stranger and the orphan. That would lead us to ask questions about the distribution of resources, the best ways to deal with immigrants, and the state of health care. And those questions should lead us to an exploration of the issues and asking "how does God want us to respond.". And why do other good people disagree with me? Is there something I'm not getting?

Good prayer is about curiosity. We ask. Where should I go? How should I act? What should be my response be? And we look to a good God to speak, to open doors and opportunities.

I want to be known for being curious. For asking questions and not accepting pat answers. For being uncomfortable with the status quo and for wrestling with mystery. That means I must have habits in my life that include reading widely, listening to opposing points of view, and digging deeper to discover root causes of issues before me, and then accepting and diving into how God wants me to respond. More about that in my next blog.

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