Chapter 5: Questions

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Imagine you are at the emergency room and have just been called back to a treatment room.

The nurse bombards you with questions.

“How old are you?”

“Do you smoke?”

“Are you on any medications?”

If you arrive at the emergency room incapacitated, the staff will follow a set protocol of tests, medical history reviews, and phone calls to family members to get answers to key questions.

In the emergency room, the right question at the right time can mean the difference between life and death.

Questions are crucial in the medical profession and in our daily lives. Good questions provide a chance to see where you are and where you want to go.

Good questions can help you check your compass.

The Value of Questions

Relationships require interaction. Without it, they will decay and eventually they may die. Questions create this interaction.

They provide the opportunity for two people to share about themselves and for the relationship to grow.

When someone asks you a question about your own life, it forces you to introspect. In that introspection, you reflect on your values and behaviors and formulate an answer.

Questions allow us to clarify what we believe and to know ourselves better.

The Power of Questions

Questions can be a powerful tool to change things. The right questions at the right time can make all the difference in the world to your view from the rocking chair.

Questions also make a big difference in helping us with “blind spots.” Blind spots are harmful attitudes or actions in our lives that we cannot or choose not to see.

Questions lead us to consider the value of what is being shared instead of rejecting the statement altogether.

Questions can help us clarify our direction.

With the frenetic pace of life today, many people confess to a decision-making approach that can have a frightful price, “Ready, fire…aim.”

When a hunter uses this approach, the cost is no meat in the freezer or paying a fine for shooting an elk instead of a deer.

When a soldier uses this approach, the cost can be the failure of a mission or someone dying from friendly fire.

When we use this approach — saying “yes” and “no” to invitations and opportunities without careful evaluation — the cost at first seems much less immediate and dramatic.

The cost can be the slow deterioration of relationships we care about or a seeming purposelessness in life.

In time, the cost can be the death of a marriage or the reality of a family who knows about God but lives for things that do not really matter.

If we ask questions at the right time about the right things, it can help us put our priorities in order, “Ready, aim…fire.”

Questions can help us aim carefully and choose well.

The Compass Check

As you contemplate the questions in the book, we will help you develop a personalized tool called the “Compass Check.”

The Compass Check, as its name implies, is a set of questions you will develop to help you check your compass for the rest of your days.

Answering the questions will help you see if you are on course and assist you in remaining on course day by day.

You will create these questions in light of your answers to the rocking chair exercise and the ideas we will discuss throughout the rest of the book.

There are two types of Compass Check questions check-up and filter questions.

Check Up Questions

Help you evaluate if you are on course and headed for the right destination.

Filter Questions

Help you carefully and thoughtfully consider new opportunities and requests in light of what you want to be able to say in the rocking chair.

The Compass Check Tool

Checking your compass regularly is essential if you want to stay on course and reach your desired destination.

The Compass Check is a tool you will use daily or weekly.

The goal to keep in mind is reminding yourself of the key biblical truths and your desired destination as you make choices through the day.