“When I was on chemo, and all those other medications, I realized I had lost my curiosity,” he said.
Mark sat across the patio table from me, as I sipped my coffee in the cool of this Michigan morning. As he described this strange time of his life, I began to ponder. Pondering turned into intrigue and intrigue into realization. Curiosity had just done it’s work in me, even in that moment.
What I pondered was this question; what role does curiosity play in the life of a human? It took me a while to realize that asking myself that question was part of the answer. Curiosity makes us ask questions. But let’s zoom out for a moment. Mark had said it was this state of curiosity-less-ness, that had led him to make a significant course change. He had been miserable without it. Why would the absence of curiosity make one miserable? (at least those of you out there who are curious, are wondering that…)
To answer I began to realize all that I received on a daily basis from the gift of being curious.
I wake up and wonder….and so do you. If you don’t, consider the options. Some wake up and dread. Some wake up and assume. Some wake up and believe there are no new questions to ask, or no new discoveries to discover.
I wake up and wonder. What will change today? What, or who will I encounter? Are breakthroughs, surprises, or new horizons somewhere ahead in this day? What about as the day goes on? That person, over there…what are they thinking? What is their story? Why do they look, sad, happy, or apathetic? What will the sunset look like? Will it rain today?
The point, I believe, is living with the realization of limitless possibilities and remaining aware and alert to them.
I considered starting this blog this way: Today I woke up and I knew everything. How boring!
To lose curiosity means to lose interest, intrigue, learning, growing. It means to assume that nothing new can come your way. Yawn. Would you want to tell a curiosity-less-ness person your life story? They would yawn, and look around, certain that you have nothing of worth to stimulate their bored cognitions.
The world, the created world is a reflection and expression of the One who made it. Therefore it is filled with infinite possibilities. Colors, sounds, ideas, all combined in endless ways, waiting to delight anyone who is looking. If you cease to be curious you cease to look. If you cease to look, you cease to see. If you cease to see, your heart will begin to shrivel. You can know the Truth and the Truth will set you free, or you will assume you know the Truth and you will have become blind.
For sixteen years I practiced counseling in a closed room. For sixteen years I was asked this question. “How can you stand to sit and listen to peoples problems all day long?” The funny thing is, every time I was asked this question, I realized that I was not aware that I was “listening to problems” all day long. I thought I was exploring. I was exploring people and their personal roadmaps. I was exploring the intricacies of human histories and human souls.
More than exploring, I was on a discovery mission. Where was God in their story? What kept them from seeing Him? When would we find the key that would allow them to find Him again? Was today the day they would see? When would God step in? I was always waiting and watching for His next move. Infinitely curious, and always peering around the next turn. Is He around this turn? Is He in this conversation?
It was the curiosity and the questions that kept me from viewing my situation as “listening to problems all day long”.
Curiosity and faith seem to be cousins. Curiosity is the expectation that you are just about to see someting you have never seen before, and the impetus to strain to see it. The more I pondered, the more I realized that without curiosity, people perish. The Bible tells us that without a vision people perish. But without curiosity they may never direct their eyes to see the vision.
As I asked these questions, I realized that this is at least one of the things that Jesus meant when He said to approach Him as a child. Peering eagerly, certain you will see something you have never seen before, and because of this certainty, straining to get the first glimpse. And as soon as I realized this, I began to ask more questions. What else does it mean to approach Him “as a child”?
I am going to write about the other things that have come to mind. Do you wonder what they are? Me too, and I can hardly wait to find out. Isn’t curiosity fun?