How to answer a simple question.

I work at a church. Every Sunday morning, I know that someone will ask me how I’m doing. I know that someone will say, “How was your week.” And I will not know how to answer the questions.

So I decided to figure out how to have an answer.

1. Don’t think, “I wonder why they are asking. I better answer well. They are paying part of my salary.” And get tongue-tied.

2. Don’t think, “Great. They are asking me, I need to ask them, and then we’ll be talking for an hour. And I have to fix the projector.”

3. Every Sunday morning, when you are driving to church, remember that someone will ask you these questions. There is no excuse for being surprised. (If they ask, “why did you drive backwards through the softball field last night,” you can be surprised.)

4. Every Sunday morning, think through the names of the people that you are likely to see. That way you won’t be scrambling to remember. And it’s possible that the review session will give you something to ask first: “How are you feeling after the Boston Marathon?” (Hi bib #13577).

5. Be honest with the person who is asking, letting them know that the reason you keep edging away from them is that you are getting toilet paper for the three empty stalls upstairs.

6. Be honest with yourself that you aren’t nearly as busy at this moment as you would like to believe that you are.

7. Stop rushing for fifteen seconds and look in the asker’s eyes. You’ll find out whether the next sentence is going to be “great” or is going to be “my mother has Alzheimer’s.”

8. Remember that touching, talking, listening, stopping, and speaking truth were all ways that Jesus got involved in the lives of people. People just like me.

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9 thoughts on “How to answer a simple question.

  1. Rich Dixon

    Becky sometimes says we need speed bumps inside church for the same reason we put them in parking lots.

    This post reminds me how often I’m looking to the next thing before I finish this thing. I’d be better if I simply did the thing I’m doing (errand, project, conversation) before moving on. The folks waiting for toilet paper matter, too.

    Oh, and listen to God for the times this thing needs to be interrupted (Mom has Alzheimer’s).


  2. josephruizjr

    When I think about Jesus he is able to discern the difference between an interruption and a distraction – He was interrupted a lot, never distracted. Good word Jon, I guess that is why we have been given an advocate Jesus knew we would need a coach. 😉


  3. Phil Gerbyshak

    This is simply profound Jon. Thank you for writing it.

    People matter. Always. All ways. That is my simple reminder to myself to be present as often as I can be.

    You should make this into a poster Jon and hand it out to people on the back of your business card – it’s that good.


  4. Kathleen

    That question is such a toss-off, I never know how to answer it either. When things are not going well, do I burden others with my problems? I love your take on it.


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