Don’t Questions Drive You Crazy?
Sadly, our world has learned to answer almost everything with a question.
In my (too) many years in cooperate life, I can’t begin to tell you how many times during seminar after seminar, I was taught to NOT answer a question directly. Instead, the “rule of thumb” was to answer a question with a question. We all experience it every day; What makes you think that?”, “What does that mean to you?” or the obligatory “Why do you ask?”. Perfectly crafted responses to open the conversation up by not being answerable by a simple yes or no. More importantly, purposely asked to give time to gather thoughts for the unavoidable response. Is that manipulation or just smart? How does that make you feel?
Eventually, it seems that the practice of “question everything” seeps into our sub-conscience thinking and we question every step and action of our life.
If you’re like me, all the questions spinning around in my head are perplexing. So much so, it seems that my thought process is more akin to a Sherlock Holmes mystery, than a straightforward path through life. If life is truly the culmination of all of choices made in life. Aren’t the decisions made everyday extremely important and impactful? Yes!
One of my favorite lessons during my corporate years was when I learned that the people who ran businesses were sometimes driven by a separate set of rules. In my experience, the bulk of people working in middle-management of those corporations were motivated by similar things. Make ME look good, make MY job easier or make ME more money. The leaders, or at least the successful ones, were motivated to “reduce costs” and “streamline efficiencies”. On the surface, both practices seem cold and calculated. Ultimately, they were all about the people working for the corporation. Two simple practices that would grow the company, providing better wages, more jobs and improving the lives or their employees.
I oft watched as the CEO’s, Presidents and leaders, of some very large corporations, concentrated on only those two questions for anything that would cross their desk. Simultaneously, the throngs of their middle-managers scurried around asking question after question, thinking they were in control, and ALL powerful. So many times, I would hear the leaders ask, “Why can’t my team get focused?”. Through it all I learned that questions can be necessary, and often a requirement for understanding. However, for the most part, too many (vague) questions create chaos and confusion. Thankfully, I was blessed to work with several very decisive leaders that were not bogged down by questions.
Think of being decisive in your life. Why do you think most of us aren’t very decisive? Oh, there I go again with the questions…
Basically, I believe it is very similar to those leaders and their managers. Most middle-managers I’ve had the pleasure to work with were SO busy, their world was a whirlwind. Being busy made them feel like they were accomplishing a lot. It always seemed to me that their entire corporate life was to create more questions. If you ponder that thought, you’ll quickly see that it was all about SELF preservation.
On the other hand, the successful CEO’s, Presidents and leaders that I knew, were pretty laid back, calm and stress free. Their days were filled with questions as well. Albeit, truly impactful. Each response carried the weight of responsibility for the lives and well being of thousands. So how could those leaders maintain that laid back, calm and stress-free lifestyle? Focus.
Having presented a lot of questions to these leaders, I soon saw a trend. For every query, they would simply distill their decisions down to the two simple questions. Will this “reduce costs” or “streamline efficiencies”? If the answer was no. The consideration was over. If the answer to either question was yes. The answer of how they would accomplish one of the two points would light the path for the next steps.
Recently, my wife and I have been faced with some major life changing decisions. Something, quite frankly, we haven’t experienced for a while. The choices we make will impact others, and will set new paths in our lives. Like any major decision in life, all the questions pop up, one after another. Most are about the unknown. “What if… This and That?” Uncertainty of the future can be daunting.
We both have been taking our concerns to God through prayer. Practically non-stop. This morning, I woke up before the sunrise, tossing and turning. Waking up, there was a single word burned into my morning consciousness. Something I have come to know as God’s answer to prayer. The word? “Puzzled?”.
There I was, no Sunshine breaking through, toasty under my covers, on a brisk 40°+ morning. I really didn’t want to get out of bed. Yet, all I could think about was PUZZLED? Sleep was just not happening. At the same time, there was a song running through my head that I couldn’t stop. Usually, I can hit the “next” button on the playlist in my head and change songs instantly. Not today!
Then, understanding that God does have a sense of humor, I started thinking how much this was like a frigid Iowa School day, when Mom would work to roust me out of bed. There I was anticipating the “Divine Chuckle” that usually accompanied the prodding for me to get up. Then it hit me. The word and the Song! “Puzzled?” followed by the name of the song… “Love is the Answer”. “Ha! You’re funny” I acclaimed as I reluctantly rolled out of bed and found my keyboard.
I had my focus. Just like those CEO’s and leaders, God gave me the focus to distill all the questions that my wife and I were facing.
As every question pops up, the answer needs to either proclaim our love for God. Or, spread God’s love to others. Simple. Every question that can’t be resolved through Love, are no longer considered. Hallelujah!
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” -2 Timothy 1:7
Puzzled + Love = Answers
“Love is the Answer” by Rumor
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