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Questions are the Answer!
by Sue Augustine

Published in Beyond Ordinary Living

Questions are the creative acts of intelligence.
Frank Kingdon

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks finds;
and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 7: 7, 8


Since the days of Socrates, questions have been used as learning aids. What happens when someone asks you a question? You have to think about it. Your brain immediately goes into gear, attempting to work out an answer. Our church’s senior pastor is known for asking questions of his congregation without necessarily having the answer himself. It seems he intends to answer them, but his purpose is actually to get people thinking.

Questions can set us in a new direction and get us outside the box. It has been said that if we would just ask enough questions about what we want to accomplish in life, we would eventually find answers. A verse in the Bible reminds us that we have not because we ask not. The right questions can open our minds to amazingly possible and realistic solutions.

Many years ago, a seminar leader at an event I attended knew the power of asking questions of ourselves. He suggested to the audience that we consider two powerful questions that eventually, through answering them, transformed my life.

First, if you could do, be or have anything in this world and you knew it would be impossible to fail, what would it be? In other words, would you start your own business, compose music, write or illustrate children’s books, go on a mission trip, or sail around the world? And second, if you could create your ideal life, what would you dare to dream? Imagine what each day would be like if you were living the life you’ve only dreamed about!

When you think of it, all change and everything ever created began with someone’s thoughts. The key word here is “began”. Just thinking about something long and hard enough doesn’t bring about change. It does, however, provide the fire to fuel the action required to begin to make those dreams a reality.

There is something to be said for not knowing everything. Sometimes just allowing ourselves to question our assumptions about life as we know it can open our minds to new ideas and lift our eyes to survey expanded horizons. Things that are presently unseen come into view as we raise the level of our gaze to see above imaginary boundaries that we have believed to be real.

Other boundaries, though invisible, are important, such as the ones that separate the various areas of our lives. As we begin to ask the open-ended questions that allow us to dream, we must be careful to maintain balance in all areas of life and not focus on one at the risk of healthy attention to others. Some areas to consider when making change are: personal growth, physical health, family relationships, friendships, career development, spirituality, finances, education, travel and leisure, material possessions, contribution and charity, and finally risk management. Certainly, we should be conscious that our dreams and goals are more about “being” than about “having” and revolve more around people than around things.

The process of asking questions stirs in us a sense of awe and wonder, which quickly develops into curiosity. Then, with a new level of inquisitiveness, we begin to discover fresh answers and life becomes an enthralling and breathless voyage of discovery.




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