With some of my friends I’ve had the same soul conversation 100 times. Together we bang our heads against the wall asking the big question we are facing. With various friends that soul question takes various forms. “Why aren’t my kids following Jesus? Why isn’t my business taking off? Why do I struggle with my faith? Why can’t life be easier? Why does God not answer my prayer? Why isn’t my church growing? How can I be better at running my youth group?”
Let’s face a truism. All of us have a deep soul question. Whether its a matter in your relationships, your faith, your profession, or somewhere else… we are all able to identify the one nagging quesiton that haunts us day and night. Go ahead, fill in the blank. My soul question is ____________________________?
Dang, it feels good just to say it, doesn’t it? Know this… While your soul question is unique, we are all united in having a question our soul longs to see answered.
My thought here is simple.
Have you ever stopped to wonder if you’re just not asking the right question?
Let’s be honest. If you’ve had this soul question for more than a couple weeks, you are probably asking the wrong question! With myself and the people around me there comes a magical moment when we realize we’ve been beating our heads against the wall for years… and continuing to bang it harder and harder isn’t producing anything more than a headache.
So what do I do about it? Ask a different question. I can speak from my own experience to tell you that the answer is not more introspection. For me, the answer to finding peace with my own soul questions, more importantly… my ability to reframe the question so that I know I’m at least asking the right question, tends to lie in one of these three sources.
#1 Seeking wise counsel. That’s spiritual mumbo jumbo for saying I talk to people who are smarter than me on the given field my question seems to fall into. Many times I’ve had someone look at me and say, “Adam, you’re missing the point. The point of what you’re talking about is ______.”
#2 Reading the Word. You knew that was coming, didn’t you? Here’s what I’m talking about. The story of Israel found in the Old Testament is full of leaders asking the wrong question… then God leading them to the right question. These stories help me reframe the questions in my life.
#3 Reading books. I’m drawn mostly to biographies, autobiographies, and non-fiction in general. There is so much wisdom in reading of others folly, upbringing, life transformation, and triumph. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been reading a persons story and I realized… I’m asking the wrong question!
The point isn’t the methods I use to reframe the soul questions in my life. The point is that, if you are wrestling, make sure you’re asking the right question.