What greater motivator
is a person’s curiosity?
You may not dot your ‘i’ or cross the ‘t,’
but you ask yourself the
what, why, when,  where or how
that gets you working on other details
that ignite your inquisitive mind
to attend to more compelling matters
of looking, seeking, and discovery.
Moses was intrigued by a desert bush
hosting a dancing fire that didn’t eat the bush.
He asked the what, why and how
as he approached the curious phenom.
His curiosity was the cue
for God to speak from within the bush.
God’s voice was the spark that ignited
a dancing fire in Moses’ soul that burned
for forty years until he captured
a mountain high glimpse of the Promised Land
that was the hope of his wandering clan.[1]

[1] May 11, 2016.

 

Curiosity is the great motivator for humankind throughout history.  It motivated James Glashier to attempt to break the balloon altitude record in 1862 while he recorded weather conditions to prove that weather conditions were predictable.[1] My father researched the origin of Canal Street in Sumter, South Carolina for a presentation. My curiosity has been energized in searching for information about a great-great uncle who died in Oman in 1899. This search unearthed the fact that the captain of the ship the ancestor sailed on out of New York City was Captain John Smith the one and only captain of the Titanic. The end of 2019 is close at hand and the beginning of the new decade is upon us. What kind of questions, problems or discoveries will empower you in 2020?

Have we lost our curiosity and wondered why life is stale or bland? Sarah Brummitt wrote, “It seems to me that as children, our curiosity is on turbocharge. We don’t know so much and so we ask endless questions.”[2] Maybe we need to return to the child within us and excavate old unanswered questions or formulate new ones. Below are three actions that help me invigorate my curiosity.

Identify areas in life where there is pain, discomfort, push back or failure. Use these to propel the formulation of questions to seek answers for.

Identify resources that can be used to find answers. Resources can include family members, books, podcasts, videos, consultants, museums and online searches.

Ask at least five follow up ‘why’ questions for each layer of an answer.  Unpeel the next layer with another why question. My friend Tom Pryor uses this method to get to the root of a matter. It also brings back memories of my grandson Noah’s questions about what is low tide and why is there poison ivy.

Which of these three action steps can you implement now? Which ones have you already used? You may have found other useful ways to activate your curiosity. Please share them with us.

Moses saw a burning bush and he thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” (Exodus 3:3, NIV) Our curiosity may be the key to hearing God’s voice that reveals unexpected guidance, reassurance or confidence for our lives. What is the ‘burning bush’ in your circumstances? Will you approach it with curiosity to investigate it like Moses investigated his burning bush? Are you ready for a curiosity adventure in 2020?

[1] https://www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/aeronauts-2019/. Accessed December 27, 2019.

[2] “The 10 Best Questions All Great Leaders Ask.” Accessed July 5, 2018 at https://leadingwithquestions.com/latest-news/the-10-best-questions-all-great-leaders-should-ask/

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