Asking the Wrong Questions

[ 8 ] Comments

by MSKeller

The story is told of a woman lamenting to her bishop, “You aren’t going to let one cup of coffee a week keep me out of the temple are you?”

To which the bishop replied, “You aren’t going to let one cup of coffee a week keep you out of the temple are you?”

Do we ask the wrong questions and thus keep ourselves separated from blessings we could embrace and enjoy?

Why do we do that?


About MSKeller

Marsha Steed Keller (Th'Muse) "When I get a little money, I buy books, if there is any left, I buy food and clothes." --Desiderius Erasmus. This defines a part of Marsha's psychology and intent fairly well. When she was a child she says that people asked what super-power she would desire. She replied, "To know what is true, always." It hasn't changed much since then. Marsha cares more about intent than result; more about understanding than agreement and more about good questions than finding all the answers. She defines her best blessings as people (Family and Friends), ideas and beauty. She is highly visual, teaches voice and piano and enjoys her Life/Relationship coaching immensely. She has a BA in Psychology and an AA in Ballroom Dance. Life is an adventure to be lived in the moment and shared with the world. She considers being asked to write with this amazing group a high honor.

8 Responses to Asking the Wrong Questions

  1. templegoer says:

    Fundamentally I think because we have problems with authority figures in our lives. These things are often indicators that there is some personal work to be done, even if a fault may lie elsewhere. We always have a responsibility to set our own hearts straight.

    • MSKeller says:

      We do at that, and though we may be willing, I think that often we aren’t even aware of the dichotomy of turning a question around. It can be extremely powerful to an open mind.

  2. jendoop says:

    A question I asked for too long is: “Why won’t someone help me?’

    I have learned that I find answers and solutions when I am working, even if it ends up that I am working in the wrong direction, I get the answer while on my feet. Sitting around waiting for a magic answer or someone else to fix it is giving away my agency. I think this especially applies when we look to leaders, “Why doesn’t the RS president do this…” or “Why doesn’t the bishop help by doing…”

    Why did I ask that question? Because I was scared. I doubted my ability to succeed and make good decisions. I was scared of doing something wrong so I did nothing. It is amazing how often our choices in life are deep down inspired by fear or doubt, when we are willing to admit it and not blame someone else. It is freeing to claim my choices, and not be responsible for anyone else’s choices.

    • MSKeller says:

      Jen, I know that was an often asked question (spoken or unspoken) in the Singles program. When we began encouraging folks to ask instead, “What now” rather than ‘Why me’ – Lives began to change.

      Exactly! – Why don’t *I* do this. . or that. . . I think that we forget that you don’t have to be ‘called’ to serve. When a need is seen, it can be acted upon (usually) by almost anyone.

      Doubt is huge isn’t it? Fear, insecurities, permission issues (My particular bane) – I have a saying (ok, I have dozens of them) that pops up on my phone now and again, “Blaming others is only excusing yourself”. I think I’m happier when I take action and own whatever my difficulty is, that way I also have the power to do something (anything) about it. Even if it is simply prayer or an attitude change. Thanks!

  3. Paul says:

    jen raises an interesting and related point: sometimes it’s the question and sometimes it’s how we ask.

    I found several years ago that there was value in my challenging how I prayed. When I really looked, my “righteous” prayers (I thought they were righteous and I thought I was claiming the righteous desires of my heart) were little more than a wish list of what I wanted, with a perfunctory “Thy will be done” tacked on at the end. I counted on the fact that my obedience would be an effective medium of exchange for these blessings I sought.

    As I considered myself and my prayers, I came to understand that it was far more effective for me to seek God’s will for me rather than convince Him to grant my will for me. It was far better to initate a conversation and ask, “What would you have me do?” rather then telling Him what I wanted Him to do. When I approach an issue that way, sometimes with my own ideas and sometimes not, I am often met with thoughts and ideas I had not previously considered (usually not all at once, but over time).

    BTW, love the example of the OP. 🙂

    • MSKeller says:

      “A Medium of Exchange” I love that Paul. I’ve recently changed how I pray as well, choosing to pause after EVERY sentence to listen for input, instead of my old way, an anxious few minutes of uncomfortable (usually, not always, but usually) at the end. Live-changing.

      “Initiate a Conversation” I think that is exactly what I try to do now. Sometimes successfully, sometimes distractedly, sometimes dutifully. . .

  4. Brenda says:

    I had a somewhat similar experience as Paul several years ago. In conversation with a spiritual mentor I was asked to ask in prayer to “see things the way they truly are”. I did so with real intent and the revelation that came was very difficult to receive. I became aware of my many selfish desires and the unfair way I was viewing others. That experience changed my perspective forever.

    Now I try to make a habit of asking to see things through God’s eyes and to know what His will is and for the strength to do it. It is still a major work in progress but has really been instrumental in navigating life and helped me recognize when I’m in error.

    • MSKeller says:

      Perhaps it is all about openness? Willingness to hear what we need to hear instead of telling, instructing, giving direction to our leaders as well as the Lord and His church.

      “Instrumental in navigating live” – I loved that. That is what we are doing here isn’t it? Lots of wrong turns and adventures for sure. Thanks for sharing.

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