The Practice of Curiosity

The Practice of Curiosity and the Rewards of a Lifelong Quest for Knowledge

Part of the delight of spending time with my oldest grandson is that he takes nothing for granted.
“Bam, why bubble pop?”
“Because you stood on it.”

Well, good question.  Why indeed, and even now, our conversations still routinely run on in this vein of relentless curiosity.  Now that he’s old enough to have moved from bubble questions to Bible questions, the flow stops at nothing, not necessarily because “Bam” comes up with anything like satisfactory answers, but because the seven-year-old mind keeps jumping the rails to new topics that require exploration.

Historically, the church has an uneasy relationship with curiosity, beginning with the Son of God himself receiving flack throughout his earthly ministry from the anti-questioning party in power at that time. Casey Tygrett invites Jesus’ present-day followers back into the spiritual practice of Becoming Curious, beckoning readers into the tension that holds opposing concepts in a space that waits for answers from all the multitude of possibilities.

Pressing into a spiritual practice of asking questions holds the door open for those in the following life to move beyond the basics of what and how questions and to live our way into the world of why. It’s our motives that shape who we are, and rather than pasting a list of legal requirements to our exterior selves, Jesus challenges believers in the practice of becoming.

You may even discover that curious living extends into the uncomfortable realm of failure.

I’m writing about curiosity HERE for the June Redbud Post, and you’re always invited to the conversation there. In fact, you can stay up-to-date on every month’s roster of articles by subscribing HERE. (Scroll down to the red section labeled “Stay in Touch.”)

The spiritual practice of #BecomingCurious is God’s gift to his people. He has equipped our souls to take the shape of an explorer. Are we #curious enough to follow him there? @cktygrett @ivpress @redbudwriters

And Now, Let’s Talk About Another Book!

The Mind in Another Place

I’ve always been curious about the life of an academic, and while my own story has been anything but ivory tower, I fully identify with Luke Timothy Johnson’s assessment that the pursuit of truth often results in a life characterized by The Mind in Another Place. In his engaging memoir, Johnson recounts the influences that shaped his early decision to become a scholar and then remembers the unique challenges and rewards of that manner of life.

Whether we make a career in academia or simply make the commitment to a life of intellectual inquiry, Johnson’s story is an inspiration to pursue excellence and to embrace curiosity. Particularly in today’s cancel-culture, the risks of true scholarship run from pesky trolling all the way to career-ending attacks, requiring a level of courage in the pursuit and the communication of truth.

Fortunately, the author’s immersion in New Testament literature has been more than merely academic, and his passion for learning was fueled by a relationship with the main character of the sacred text. His role as a teacher was clearly a calling, enabling him to conclude, “As I gladly learned, so gladly did I teach.” May this be the motive behind my own quest for truth!

Holding You in the Light,

Whether we make a career in academia or simply make the commitment to a life of intellectual inquiry, #TheMindinAnotherPlace is an inspiration to pursue excellence and to embrace #curiosity. @eerdmansbooks #bookreview

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Many thanks to InterVarsity Press and Eerdmans Publishing for providing copies of these books to facilitate my reviews, which are, of course, offered freely and with honesty.

54 thoughts on “The Practice of Curiosity and the Rewards of a Lifelong Quest for Knowledge”

  1. Children are wonderful, I miss listening to the ones that I used to look after when I was a registered child minder #dreamteam


  2. I’ve been accused of always asking too many questions & researching too much 🤔.
    But I believe an enquiring mind does! It’s who I am, I’ve always been interested in how the world works & especially the people who dwell in it.
    And it goes with the territory of being a Professional therapist anyways!
    Thank you for this post today Michele you have greatly encouraged me! 😊


  3. I think it’s wonderful to explore curiosity questions about the world and about God and His Word. I believe God gave us that desire to ask questions and find answers, because when we search honestly, it leads us back to God himself.


  4. I absolutely love to research…everything. I’m delighted to no longer be dependent upon an out-dated encyclopedia. Lol, telling my age there! My grandkids keep me on my toes with their relentless curiosity. Visiting from Anita’s Inspire Me Monday linkup.


  5. Curiosity IS a wonderful thing as it continually presses outward the boundaries of our minds. And to stay incurably curious, even into old age, adds to the quality of life, I think–especially when our questions center around God and His Word.


    1. It’s wonderful to remember that God is not in the least bit intimidated by our questions. I think that pressing into his nature and attributes with a questioning heart deepens our capacity for worship.


  6. Michele, amen to this: “We show up in front of an open Bible each day, not because it’s a lucky rabbit’s foot or a multi-vitamin and “my day always goes better if I start with Scripture,” but because this is the path of formation that makes me into the kind of person who is able to discern the voice of God from all the screaming banshees inside my head.” (Also, “flack” was a favorite term of my dad’s … funny how a single word can bring a warm memory.)


  7. This is what I hope I have fostered in my own boys! I love learning and could have happily spent my entire life taking classes. My middle son was complaining one day after school that one of his teachers told the class it was rude to ask why they were learning something since she as the teacher had spent time planning the lesson and therefore thought it was important enough to teach and rude for them to ask why. He argued with me that if she knew why she was teaching it that should be easy enough to answer and how could it be wrong to ask why? I agreed with him! (But he knew enough to just shrug his shoulders at her and go along with it.).


    1. How sad! As long as that question was asked with a curious motive (instead of a rotten attitude), I can’t see why the teacher wouldn’t want to reveal her motives. Strange…
      And I’m another one who could have been a “professional student!”


  8. I agree that our motives do shape who we are so I have developed the habit of always examining my own. Lifelong curiosity is a joyous gift!


  9. With a degree in early childhood education and having spent 20 years in that field, I’m always awed by children’s sense of wonder. I believe that sense of wonder and curious nature empowers us to keep learning as we get older. I love how my curiosity is piqued by a simple question or observation and I can dig deeper into God’s Word to discover the Truth He wants me to learn. Thank you for sharing these book recommendations.


  10. I am definitely curious by nature, and a great advocate for curiosity over reactivity. My husband calls me the “Question Queen” and not always affectionately…..


  11. A love of learning and a desire to find out about our world is essential for appreciating all the wonderful aspects of our spiritual and physical experiences. Thanks for linking up with #DreamTeam


  12. Thank you for sharing this on Traffic Jam Weekend, Michele! It had the most views during last week’s link party. Therefore, it is a part of this week’s party features that will go live on Thursday at 5:00 pm CST.


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