When I first watched the movie I (heart) Huckabee’s years ago, it bounced around in my head for days. In it, there is a team of existential detectives who hilariously examine people’s lives in order to determine what question drives each of their lives.
We each have a question that, underneath everything else that we do and think, drives us. The problem is that most of us have too little self-awareness to know what our question is.
In his book Girlfriend in a Coma, one of Douglas Coupland’s characters basically comes back from the dead with this message: “Ask questions, no, screech questions out loud — while kneeling in front of the electric doors at Safeway, demanding other citizens ask questions along with you — while chewing up old textbooks and spitting the words onto downtown sidewalks — outside the Planet Hollywood, outside the stock exchange, and outside the Gap. Grind questions onto the glass on photocopiers. Scrape challenges onto old auto parts and throw them off bridges so that future people digging in the mud will question the world, too. Carve eyeballs into tire treads and onto shoe leathers so that your every trail speaks of thinking and questioning and awareness. Design molecules that crystallize into question marks. Make bar codes print out fables, not prices. You can’t even throw away a piece of litter unless it has a question mark stamped on it — a demand for people to reach a finer place.”
If questions are so important, it should come as no surprise that Jesus was a master question-asker. In fact, the first words to leave his mouth in the gospel of John form one of the most basic and one of the most penetrating questions of all: “What do you want?” or “What are you seeking?” (John 1:38)
There are short-term wants and short-term things that we’re looking for. But Jesus’ questions always driver deeper. What is it that you truly want? What are you spending your life looking for?
It’s no wonder that Bono, the famous Jesus-following singer for U2, would belt out “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” This question of Jesus had gotten deep within him.
So, what is your question? What is it that you want, really want? What are you looking for?
And how good are you at asking other people about their questions? How might you shake people out of their ruts by asking them disturbing questions?