Over the years in my teaching on the undergraduate and graduate levels, I have tried to send the message to the students that all questions are welcome. In fact, I recall many teachers and colleagues who have said there is no such thing as a dumb or silly question.
When Pat and I were honeymooning in Maine, one evening we went into a pizza joint for a bite to eat. Pat ordered a slice of pizza and I ordered a foot-long hotdog. The man who took our order was the owner of the place and he was friendly but a little rough around the edges. He asked me if I wanted onions on the hotdog and I said that I did.
He then told us to sit at one of the booths in the restaurant and he would bring our food out to us when it was ready. The kitchen was in earshot of our table and after a few minutes he called out to me and asked, “Do you want them sautéed or raw?” And I said, “What, the onions?’ And he replied, “No, the mustard.” Okay, maybe he did set me up by not specifying the item he would sauté or leave raw, but part of me feels I should have caught his tricky question by not answering it with a silly question in return. So perhaps there are times in which we ask questions that are silly or at least not well thought out.
If you have been paying attention at Green Tree lately, you know that a lot has been going on at the administrative level. There is talk about stewardship education, endowments, investment strategies, and the selling of real estate. A lot of thought and planning has gone into each of these areas. And a lot of questions have been asked along the way. My guess is that for those of you who are not serving in a Board or administrative capacity, you may have some of these same questions. When you read about these issues in the newsletter or other publications, please do not hesitate to pose any questions you may have to those who are working on these issues. And let’s work under the assumption that no question is a silly question. If you have a certain question, chances are there may be several others who have that very same question.
Now, what about questions of the faith? We all have questions about our faith, about the Bible, about God, about Jesus, about the church, etc. And it is important that we raise such questions when the need arises. It is equally important to understand that when it comes to faith—“silly” questions are allowed. What is a silly or mundane question to one person may be a very important question to another. And if we keep the questions going, then we will grow in the faith together. So whether you have questions about onions, administrative matters at Green Tree, or questions about faith and theological issues, ask them. And with God’s help we will learn, and grow, and do God’s work well together.