People act weird sometimes… I mean, isn’t it strange some of the habits we have? All of the tendencies and social norms that we adopt as we age. They are natural reactions that are cued by scenarios that we are presented everyday and they are almost all dictated by what society as a whole has deemed “correct” or “wrong.”
Andrew Hales has a whole YouTube channel dedicated to forcing these awkward situations. Here’s a great video of him putting people in one of his socially awkward situations.
As much as I love the awkwardness of seeing how people react to Andrew trying to hold their hand in this video, I think we can easily observe these strange tendencies in an “unfabricated” setting.
The typical classroom situation where the teacher asks, “Does anyone have any questions?” is my favorite. The teacher opens the discussion to anyone in the class to speak up, and students with questions look around unable to get themselves to just raise their hand. Students turn their heads side-to-side, avoiding eye contact with the teacher, and hoping someone will ask their same question so they can get the answer without all the attention of the class. Embarrassed about not knowing everything, we are afraid of just the thought of asking a question.
Two years ago, two big life questions were constantly on my mind. 1. What is my purpose in this life? And, 2. Why is it that no matter how hard I try, I can’t be as good of a person as I feel I should be? Up to this point, I had refused to address deep questions like this, unable to quote-on-quote “raise my hand” in life, and I enjoyed the simple life where I acted like I knew all the answers afraid to come across as not knowing.
But then I realized, if I don’t ask I’ll never know. Something has to be true. There must be an answer, whether I ask the question or not, and I want to know it. But who do you ask to answer these questions? And if many people claim no one can know the answers to these questions, why ask at all? Sticking with the classroom scenario, if in the classroom the answer to a question could determine whether or not you pass or fail the course would you ask it?
I ran into students at Penn State who lived with a purpose, and seemed to be living a good life and wanting to know what made them different I spent time with them and learned from them. I asked questions. The answer to those two questions came from people I barely knew explaining the story of Christ to me.
This is still the only answer that appropriately answers all of my questions about humanity, this world, our past, our purpose, and what our future will look like. For the first time ever I was in a classroom where I wanted to ask the teacher every question I had and could come up with. And every step of the way that teacher has followed through on answering those questions, because I asked Him.
We all have questions, and there are answers to those questions whether we ask for them or not. And by no means have I had all of mine answered. But in times of doubt He has “conveniently” had me read the stories of Gideon, David, and Thomas, who doubted the existence or plans of God also. Yet God/Jesus was patient with them and helped them step-by-step in overcoming these questions and doubts. He’s not expecting us to understand everything right away. He wants us to ask questions about Him and His purpose for this world and watch as our questions get answered.
I still don’t have all the answers, but I had found where I could get them from and I have never felt more fulfilled than in these moments when I learn from Him. Every day that I spend time reading His Word more truths become visible and present. I believe we all have those moments where truths about this world “resonate.”
Andrew and some of the individuals in that video embraced the awkwardness and some didn’t. I find the ones who play along or have fun remarks afterwards are more enjoyable to watch than those who are annoyed. Are you willing to embrace going against the social norm of staying quiet? Are you willing to ask questions? Are you willing to ask the tough questions? To come across as the person who maybe doesn’t know everything? Because that may be the most freeing decision you ever make in your life. It was for me.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8 –