Stay Curious

Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see him [Jesus].

Luke 9:7-9

When I received a promotion years ago, I moved into the person’s old desk and found detailed step-by-step directions: for everything. On how to project manage, on how to make a phone call, on how to order lunch. While nice to have on hand, I found I did things a bit differently. 

Later, another promotion came. This one, though, came with no instructions. Literally. I showed up in my new office and had a one-page list of projects needing attention, and that was about it.

I’ve since then learned there are “how” people and “why” people. How people prefer the notes on how to do the job. The why people want to know why and nothing more. We need both kinds of people to operate; You can always find out which one another person is by finding out if they want instructions or just a brief on the project in 30 words or less.

Knowing what kind of a person you are and what kind of people work for you helps you to communicate better. If you find yourself wanting to make sure a project has all the steps prepared beforehand, you might be a how person. If you ensure the context, history, or jist of the project is enough, you might be a why person. 

Herod could fall into the “how people” camp, but I suspect from reading this passage he sat squarely with the “why people.” He wanted to know the truth; Maybe not the steps on how to be resurrected, but why it occurred. It’s hard, of course, not to read into his motivation without some conjuncture and ill-will underlining his questions. Here’s the key: Herod was curious.

As a why or how person, being curious will get you far. Curiosity is often the first step, in a project, or toward Jesus. Making sure you ask the questions in a way that provides you with the best information is the next step. For instance, “How did you do that?” as opposed to “Why did you do that?” can produce a different answer. I wonder what Herod may have asked if Jesus did come to him after he asked these perplexing questions. I also wonder how Jesus may have responded.

In either case, staying curious and asking the questions in the right way will get you far.

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© 2022, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

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