With Halloween a month away, the excitement of dressing up ignites the imagination of many children. And adults.
Beck loves monkeys; they’re his favorite animal. He’d join them on any kind of excursion if he could. With several options given as to what he’d like to be for fall festivities, he was adamant about being a monkey.
He has the activity level down well. And he’s curious, just like my favorite children’s book character, Curious George.
Reading these stories to my children, I used to feel sorry for the man in the yellow hat, his friend and caretaker. George was never hesitant to check out things he didn’t understand or situations that were unfamiliar to him. His curiosity led him into some wild adventures, but each of them tended to be a new lesson learned. What my kids loved about these books was his willingness to risk because discovery was worth it.
I see that in Beck. He’s captivated by the new and different–people, places, and experiences. Risk for him is an adventure.
Not a threat.
I long for that unquenchable curiosity that allows me to move past any hesitation to discover that which needs to be known. The things that will enrich my life, take me beyond my comfort zone, and allow me to learn the things that I’ve not yet encountered.
Our culture worldwide has become very narrow-minded. We view the world with self-made blinders, blocking those things that don’t fit with the way we see things, that are different from our vantage point.
Especially in regard to other people. Rather than being inquisitive about those who are different from us, we choose to ignore, marginalize, or condemn those who aren’t like us.
We’ve lost interest in being open to something different. Rather than ask honest questions of one another, it’s easier to send out a sound bite on social media and condemn that which we don’t fully understand; to jump on a band wagon of disagreement and cancellation rather than seek answers for ourselves by asking questions.
If only we’d inquire to determine what people need from us.
There’s a story in the book of Mark that depicts a blind man sitting by the side of the road, begging. He hears that Jesus is passing by with His disciples. He yells, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The disciples, bothered by this interruption in their journey, try to ignore him or tell him to be quiet. But he continues to call for Jesus’ attention.
Jesus stops and has His men bring the blind man to Him. He simply asks, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man answers, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Jesus heals him.
Jesus paused to ask a question that seemed to have an obvious answer. But He asked. Because He wanted to hear how this man saw his need.
It’s easy for us to assume we know others, their needs, what motivates them. But how often do we take the time to ask and listen?
If Jesus, who is God, respects an individual enough to ask what his need is, shouldn’t we be as gracious?
Our curiosity may actually promote new relationships.