For class I’m reading this book called The Revolutionary Communicator. I’m having a difficult time focusing because my head is all over the place- thinking about other assignments and decisions about the future. Both the assignments and the future seem very overwhelming today. To be honest, I do not feel great right now.
So I’m pushing myself to read- and it really is a good book. It talks about seven principles Jesus lived to impact, connect and lead. I don’t really think Jesus was ticking little check marks next to his interactions with people, “I was definitely authentic with that person“, “ I’m going to connect with this lady through questions“… Clearly, being what John calls The Word, he has an inherent handle on communication. But having 7 principles is good for those of us who are not Jesus….
Right now I’m reading the chapter on asking questions as a way to communicate (my co-students might gasp because this is only chapter 3 in a book I’m supposed to have a report written for by Thursday). The whole chapter focuses on how Jesus (and other people like our friend William Wilberforce) used questions to stir in people an understanding of deeper things.
“Statements alone can be rigid, easily picked apart, and then disregarded in a debate over details. They tend to make demands of the audience rather than requests. They often give little space for the listener’s own thought process, but instead try to orchestrate that process for them.
Jesus’ questions, in contrast, invited others to participate in the activity of discovery, to take hold of the truth for themselves. He understood that when an idea is imposed, however reasonable it might be, it is rarely held for long.”
I ask myself questions all the time. In fact, my private journal is filled with questions. I ask them of myself and I ask them of God. “Why are things this way?” “Why did I respond to that person that way?” “Who are You?” “Who am I?”
I’m also learning to ask more questions to the people around me. Tonight at the dinner table I was asking my roommate about something (now I can’t remember what) and it led to hearing her sing some songs from Zimbabwe. Then I got to hear India’s national anthem sung by this dear pastor and student, George.
I am blessed by questions from friends because they cause me to feel as if what I have to say is important and they help me discover new things. I am blessed to pose questions to friends because then I get to hear something from them about who they are, what they think of the world and maybe I’ll even get a song as a bonus.
The book also says that “self-discovered truths are always far more powerful and enduring than those that are imposed or spoon-fed. They inevitably penetrate deeper, reside longer, and influence more thoroughly“. It makes me laugh a little to wonder if this particular truth will sink very deep since I read it in this book instead of coming to the conclusion on my own by way of a question asked.
My favorite quote from the dinner table tonight came from Pam (my roommate from Zimbabwe). She was talking about sports in High School and how she had been quite good at the high jump. She said,
“I would have considered doing that for life but it was just so silly”.
What silly things have you considered doing for life? Are you doing them now or did you write them off long ago as too silly?