Curiosity

Isn’t it funny how you can accept a concept basically all your life but not “get it” until someone else’s words trigger a deeper understanding.

For me, that concept is curiosity.

My favorite grad professor made a statement in class this summer about how the key for students’ success correlates to their level of personal curiosity.

We teachers can’t teach curiosity, but hopefully we can make the information so inviting that the students want more. In educational jargon, the students become so engaged in the subject they’re studying that they delve into their personal critical thinking skills to go beyond the target goal.

Curiosity is the key to survival, for if we as a people fail to assert our curiosity, we will fall deep into a pit of apathy and lose all problem solving and initiative taking. Then we will fall susceptible to mind control and submission.

I can’t imagine a life without curiosity. I guess that’s why I like to write. But writers don’t have dibs on curiosity. If scientists and mathematicians don’t ask questions, we will never have the answers that cure diseases, create durable structures, or harness energy.

Lately, I’ve been very curious about God. I have a myriad of unanswered questions, but the one thing I know for sure is that God is love.

I want to tell a good story. I want to make readers laugh—and cry. I want to make readers think. I’m a writer, and I’m a Christian, but I’m not necessarily a Christian writer. I’m a writer who writes from the Christian world view. Perhaps, however, through my simple anecdotes, readers can learn how to find love, how to find God.

But how does a writer convey the message that God is love? Sometimes I have to explain it to myself.

Love is powerful. There is nothing anyone can do to stop love. God loves all people, even if they hate him and even if he dislikes their actions.

But he’s the rule maker. He’s in charge. If he doesn’t want to allow anger, hatred, bitterness, murder, etc. into his home, that’s his business. He prohibits these things because they destroy love.

I make the rules for my personal life: Don’t lie to me. Don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt my family. Don’t use me. Don’t manipulate me. Don’t control me. Don’t ridicule me. Don’t take me for granted.

If people choose to cross these lines, I can shut the door and keep them out of my life.

Likewise, there is nothing that can force love. Not presents. Not money. Not power. Not flattery. Not bribery. Not bargains. People try all of these methods to earn God’s favor, especially when they try to make their own rules while living in his house.

It’s impossible to force love. I can’t make another person love me. I don’t try. I will never beg or plead. Ever. I would rather walk away and keep on walking. Either love is, or it isn’t.

God doesn’t beg either, but because love cannot exist in an environment of evil, God made the Way for imperfect people to find a place in his home.

Again, you can’t force love, but you can leave the door open and wait for it to walk in. God has done that, but when he chooses to close the door, well, that’s up to him.

I’m a teacher. I know. I can’t make my students love me. I can’t even make them like me. It’s up to them. I’ll never beg or bribe them. I’d rather accept the truth than live a lie.

As a writer, my goal is to create characters that echo the same emotions and struggles that all people go through. It’s inevitable. When readers get into a book, they readily identify with one of the main characters and live vicariously through him or her or it. They feel what the character feels.

I think we all seek love, regardless of our ages, but teens, especially, crave love. Unfortunately, what they often settle for is not love—it’s a cheap counterfeit.

I don’t be a Pollyanna, but I like happy endings. My manuscripts are full of humor, of course, but what I really want to stand out in them is love—not just romantic love, which may be lust in disguise, but real love.

And what is real love? It’s not so hard to define.

  • Real love protects. The counterfeit hurts.
  • Real love puts others first. The counterfeit doesn’t care about others as long as its own needs are met first.
  • Real love forgives. The counterfeit holds grudges and reminds others of their failures.
  • Real love offers hope. The counterfeit delivers despair.
  • Real love is truth. The counterfeit is just one big lie.

You are the main character in your own life. Where is your curiosity taking you? Do you ever question love?

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11 thoughts on “Curiosity

  1. Teresa Iam friends with you and a woman i whet to school with she teaches math in Kanasa Illinois I respect you and her for what you do you are what makes America the great country it is , God Bless You

  2. Thank you, Dennis. You are really kind. I wish I could say I was very enthusiastic about teaching, but the job is so demanding now for all teachers that the joy in teaching has been sucked out of it in many cases. What really matters, whatever a person does, is kindness and compassion. You definitely are at the top of the charts with those two qualities. I admire you. 🙂

  3. One year at summer camp, they were giving awards to everyone. Everyone… I anxiously awaited to see what I would be dubbed — I still have my little paper professing me to be “The most Inquisitive”. 😀 If I were a cat, I would be dead 12 times over from my curiosity.

    If you’ve not read it, you MUST read THE SHACK. It explains love, in particular GOD’s love far better than I can. I have long said that the entire purpose of life is “to learn to love”. How can we ever fully appreciate Christ’s having died for us until we know what love is — to actually experience the anguish of losing someone we love. How much must God love us to have allowed Christ to suffer so. It is kinda over my head (though I’m working on it) and humbling.

    As far as questioning love…. I never question God’s love. People’s love,… more often than not I feel like the third wheel or a bother to people. Hard to feel loved when you think you’re probably just in the way… Oooo, ’tis time to shut my face before I go too deep… 😉 ♥

  4. I’ve always kind of felt like the third wheel. But that’s another story. For some reason today I have been in the crabbiest suckiest mood in the world. I know I have the choice to change my attitude, but today has been a tough one. I could probably write one humongous pity party rant, but who needs that? I actually wrote this yesterday morning but couldn’t get it on the page until tonight. I sure hope tomorrow is a better day because right now I am definitely not a reflection of love. 😦 arg. grumble. grumble.

  5. Why did that song ♪♫ All Ya need Is Love ♪♫ just do cart wheels through my brain… LOL Some days are like that. Pre-menopause is hitting me HARD. More songs dancing through my subconscious…. ♪♫ Tomorrow’s Another Day ♪♫ 🙂

  6. Thanks, Tee. This offering made me think. When I was a teacher, I would stop to think about when I had actually learned something as a child. Sometimes I think my curiosity was surgically removed…other times I think it is lying dormant.

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