Can Curiosity be Courageous?
Can Curiosity be Courageous?
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified …. for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
What comes to mind when you think of doing something courageous? My first thought is of my husband flying fighter jets throughout his Air Force career, or my son spending 40 days in the wilderness rock-climbing and mountaineering. I also picture my daughter, who without the slightest hesitation, allowed herself to be strapped into the Royal Gorge Skycoaster, where she soared through the air at 50 mph while suspended 1200 feet above the Arkansas River.
Now let me assure you, none of these brave, gravity-defying activities will ever be my courageous story. Yet God does call us to “be strong and courageous.” So imagine my delight, in discovering a Biblical story that redefined courage for those who prefer to walk out our bold faith on solid ground.
There it was, tucked inside Acts 2. All the followers of Jesus are gathered for the celebration of Pentecost, when they suddenly receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in a dramatic moment hearing a wind howling and seeing tongues of fire. They spilled out into the streets, proclaiming the wonders of God in languages they had not previously known.
Although I’d read this miraculous story countless times, for the first time I was struck by the two polar opposite reactions from the crowd. The first group was “amazed and perplexed.” They asked each other, “What does this mean?” The second group “made fun of them” and concluded they’d had “too much wine” (Acts 2:12-13). Although both groups were confused, we see a curious group who asked questions and a cynical group who jumped to conclusions contrasted.
Peter then preaches a brilliant sermon, straight from the mouth of God, and 3,000 people accepted the message that Jesus really was their long-awaited Messiah and were baptized.
Whose lives were transformed that day… the curious or the cynical? I propose that those who encountered the Living God were the ones who had the courage to be curious.
Maybe the most courageous thing we can do in our confusion, or even our heartache, is to come to the Lord with our questions. This thought stirred hope in my weary heart at a time when I felt neither brave nor courageous.
Could it really be as simple as asking a question?
Questions have the power to hold us in the tension of an unresolved, unexplained story. They posture our hearts to wait and listen for our precious Lord’s voice. Questions make space in our hearts for the possibilities of a bigger God-story. Questions allow us to resist the temptation of cynicism that might try to explain away the power of God as the actions of drunk people who suddenly become language experts.
My favorite thing about God is that when we come to him with our questions, we can expect Him to speak…personally, powerfully, and practically. What if our rescue from cynicism was just on the other end of a question?
What if the next time our stories stir confusion in our hearts, we simply have the courage to be curious, to curl up in our coziest chair and pour out our questions to the One who delights in opening our eyes to the wonders of His bigger story. What do you think?