This last week we have done some extra driving…and the car game is 20 Questions. One person comes up with an idea, a person, place or thing, and the others have 20 questions to ask and to guess what it is. It can be a lot of fun. Sometimes it takes 40 questions, but it still occupies the time well.
One thing I realize as I play this game is that I am not talented, at all, in the art of asking questions. After the few that I can come up with, the same ones every time, I am stumped. It would so nice to come up with witty questions and blow everyone away with my brilliance. Alas, not so.
It happens when I am in conversation with a friend or an acquaintance, all the time. Not a single question comes to mind…and the quiet moments get longer and longer, and more awkward. I long for intelligent conversation, but can’t seem to instigate it. So, I talk about nothing…just to fill in the space. If anything, I catch myself in that jittery chattery place. Not a good place to be. Truly, I admire those people who can make conversation, and ask those thought provoking questions. I think there are books that teach this skill as well. Maybe I should invest in some.
My challenge to myself and to you is to come up with 20 questions. So that next time one is stuck in a conversation about nothing, it can be turned around. Let’s get to know each other…on a deeper level. Do we really need to constantly talk about the latest sales or celebrity antics? Or the latest gossip about the neighbors? Why don’t we talk about our faith? What makes us tic? What are those hopes and dreams that crop up when we can’t get to sleep at night? Can we talk about those issues that scare us, or confuse us?
When was the last time you sat down, at a coffee shop somewhere, and asked some real questions? Do you know where your friends family is from? Do you know if they can play an instrument? What are their hopes and fears? Is there any way you could help them accomplish something they have always dreamed of, but just needed some extra encouragement?
Remember friends…I am waiting for those questions to be whizzed back at me too. There might be a lot of stuff that I have revealed, but there might be something there, deep down, that even I don’t know about yet. And I want you to be ready too. Our next coffee shop conversation will not be…what I usually talk about!