Answers To Questions You’ve Never Asked

“We’ll give you answers to questions you’ve never asked.”

Do you know how many sensors are in your smart phone? They can track where you are; whether you’re sitting, walking, or running; what you ask for. Much of that data goes into a depository of information linked to you by various applications (think about how much Google and Facebook know about you—supposedly with only the intent to show you advertising that you’d likely be interested in.

I’m at a technology conference this week in Minneapolis. By the way, this is a nice city to take a vacation to for a few days. Not that I’m even close to vacationing.

The Chief Technology Officer of the company whose user conference I’m attending commented about other companies who tell potential customers that they can suck in all the data from the sensors (thousands) in an industrial plant and “give you answers to questions you’ve never asked”.

He had the same take on the question that I have. 

Who cares about answers to questions that I haven’t asked?

As a spiritual seeker, how many times have preachers, teachers, acquaintances, others given you answers that are pretty much irrelevant to your life?

I’d guess way too many.

I knew a really good technology sales person who would have a meeting with a new prospect and begin the meeting by asking a series of questions in a completely friendly and non-threatening way. The first thing that was amazing about this is that he was an engineer. Engineers are taught to have answers. But he wanted to know that he was going to provide the right answer for the questions that the prospect had.

When is the last time a well-meaning but persistent Christian asked you questions before responding with a spiritual discipline or practice or answer that would help you?

Maybe our spiritual practice to develop is getting to know something about the hopes and dreams and difficulties of another person before telling them the answer. Just knowing that “Jesus is the answer” (as the bumper sticker says) isn’t helpful. How Jesus is the answer to a person’s particular question is helpful. And knowing that answer can lead to a spiritually healthier life where we ask more questions and discover more ways “Jesus is the answer”.

Go forth and discover other people’s questions.

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