I want you to imagine that’s it’s a regular Tuesday evening (depending on when you read this it might be pretty easy). You’ve had an unremarkable day with nothing major to report. Your evening has been spent in a normal Tuesday evening pursuit and as you ready yourself for bed you make no changes to your standard routine. You climb into bed, assume your default sleep position and drift off to sleep.
When you wake up you find yourself not in your bed, or even your house or even your street. You’re standing on Main Street USA in The Magic Kingdom, Disneyland. As you look around you realise the dreamtime parade is coming and you take a few moments to wave hello to the characters as they pass.
You see a member of staff just a little way ahead and as you approach you see his nametag says Chad and a little flag on there tells you he can speak English, Spanish and a flag you can’t remember from GCSE geography. You get his attention and as he asks how he can help, you look him straight in the eye and say…
“Chad, it’s over 100 degrees out here today. Doesn’t the guy in the Mickey costume get really hot?”
It’s a good question…but perhaps the wrong question.
A few years ago at a Salvation Army conference I sat and listened as someone presented findings on research undertaken about The Salvation Army. It told us what people thought of us, how people trusted us and what the common misconceptions were. It was 45minutes of affirmation, challenge and pie charts. At the end of the presentation the leader looked into the room and said “any questions?”. A hand shot into the air and as a mic was passed we waited in anticipation to see what question would begin our conversations. What question would sum up the feelings in the room after such a helpful and insightful exercise. The mic made its way to the hand of the eager asker and they said this…
“I noticed on your PowerPoint that sometimes you shorten The Salvation Army to SA and other times TSA – that’s confusing, shouldn’t we have some guidance over which to use?”
It’s not a terrible question but it was definitely the wrong question.
I’m sometimes very guilty of asking the wrong questions, selfish questions, loaded questions and sometimes just downright stupid questions. But I want to ask the right questions.
Questions that inspire me like “what will I fight for?” which has been a huge and brilliant challenge to my own denomination this weekend.
Questions like “what are you passionate about?” which has been a huge and brilliant challenge to my own little church this weekend.
Questions like “is this really important?” that perhaps we all need to ask ourselves from time to time.
So if you hear me asking a wrong question anytime soon feel free to give me quick slap…hopefully it’ll wake me up and bring me back to reality.