Devotional, “Curiosity and Questions: Asking the Things that Matter Most,” by Donna Elkins

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Curiosity and Questions: Asking the Things that Matter Most

 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  James 1: 5 (NIV)

One of my favorite things about being a newspaper reporter was that I had opportunity to ask lots of questions. In those early years, I wrote countless feature stories about people around the small town where I worked. To outsiders, the people who lived there might seem ordinary or mundane. But what I found was that everyone had a story and often that story was way more interesting than I expected.

For instance, I loved asking the local bison farmer why he chose that herd instead of raising cattle like everyone around him. What do you have to do differently to raise bison? Where do you get the meat processed? Where do you buy livestock and how do you transport them when you live in a southern state? How do you get experienced veterinarian care? How much do they usually weigh? What is the sustainable number for a typical grazing farm? What are some of the best recipes for bison meat?

When you care about an issue or a person, being curious and asking questions comes naturally. When I really care about the other person and what they want to tell me, I forget about trying to make my own point or about what I want to say and instead focus on asking and listening. Listening to someone who loves the subject, is knowledgeable about something unfamiliar to you, and who you can see light up as they talk is a special joy.

Why should we pursue learning just for learning’s sake rather than only for financial or practical outcomes? It seems in a world where information is so widely available, we are creating a whole new divide between the “cognitive elites” who ask questions and learn things, and those who are not curious. It doesn’t do much good to learn how to think, if you don’t have anything to think about. That is why asking good questions and listening for the answers is so important.[1]

Curiosity breeds communication and communion. Be curious about those around you, even people you think are mundane or ordinary. Beyond that, most importantly, be curious about God and the untold wisdom He holds. Ask Him to show you things in His Word. Ask Him to show you things in the world around you. Be curious, ask Him, and listen carefully for His answers.

Reflection: Are you a curious type of person who asks lots of questions? Are there relationships you might strengthen if you asked more questions and listened to the answers rather than giving advice or opinions?

 Today’s Challenge: Make a list of questions you’ve always wanted to ask God and then ask Him at least two of those questions beginning today.

 Donna M. Elkins, Spalding University


[1] See Ian Leslie, The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It (Basic Books, 2015).


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