My Least Favorite Question

Sometimes, life gets crazy.  Wait…scratch that thought. Life is usually crazy for most of us.

#homework #classes #babies #toddlers #blogging #churchactivities  #solvingminorworkcatastrophes #busymom #seminarymom #lifeiscrazy

We manage to stay busy and with our business often comes an array of emotions.

Perhaps sadness at an unexpected car accident, sudden illness, fight with a spouse, betrayal from a close friend, or even loneliness. And, if you are anything like me, you might experience all of those feelings in one day. (#truestory)

At the same time, perhaps you feel happiness and relief when no one is injured in a car accident. You thank God for medicine and good doctors. Maybe you cry tears of joy when your toddler tells you she loves you for the first time. And, once again, these feelings might hypothetically all occur on the same day. (#notreallyhypothetical)

Amidst all this, you take the time to open your Facebook and a friend you haven’t heard from in 3 years says “How’s it going?”

Or, you go to church and 12 different people say “Hi! How are you today?”

This seemingly, innocuous question is a socially accepted way to greet people, but I don’t like it.  So perplexing. Annoying. Half-hearted. Most of the time I don’t even know how to answer, and even when I do, I am not sure others really want to know.

I usually end up muttering, “Um…fine,” with a small smile.

Sometimes, I just make up stuff and use obscure verbiage: “I am peckishly pondering pablum Pacific cod. What about you?”

A few of you do legitimately want to know, and I am thankful for you. But sometimes it’s hard to identify “the legitimately want to know,” “the sort of want to know,” “the want to know, but tell me later,” and the “I really don’t care to know.”

Even when I can tell the difference, I can’t always decide which crazy part of my life to talk about. And, I am guessing many of you experience similar quandaries.

What if it didn’t have to be this way? So glad you asked…read on.

It may take a bit of effort, but what if we practiced asking more specific questions to friends and family members?

Here are some goods ones for kids you know (and adults too):

  • What has been the best part of your day so far?
  • When did you feel most loved today?
  • When did you feel most appreciated this morning?
  • Is there anything I can help you with right now?
  • How did your mid-terms go?
  • How was your grandmother’s surgery?
  • What did you say to the new girl at school (or work, etc.)?
  • What has been one of your proudest accomplishments today?
  • Have you watched any new movies this week?
  • Have you read any new books you recommend?
  • How did you enjoy your Bible story this morning?
  • Is there anything I could do to make your day better?

I can almost certainly guarantee that when we care enough to ask more specific questions, it will make someone’s day.

Sarah is the author of Bathsheba’s Responsibility in Light of Narrative Analysis, contributor to Vindicating the Vixens, and contributing editor for The Evangelism Study Bible. Some of her previous ministry experiences have included teaching and mentoring of adults and children in a wide variety of settings. Her small claim to fame is that she has worked with children of every age range from birth through high school over the past 20 years. She and her husband Ben reside in Richardson, Texas with their four children.