Asking the right questions


“If you don’t change direction, you’ll end up where you’re heading.” ~Chinese proverb

Failure to Launch was the title of a popular movie a few years ago about a shiftless young man with no direction in life. The term “launch” in the movie’s title is used by psychologists to describe the period when a young person is trying to make a life for himself outside of the care of parents.

For many young people, there is often a time of “spiritual launching” — of making decisions about what to believe, what to value, and what to pursue in life. This is precisely the time to be asking God about one’s vocation.

Fr. Joe Hirsch, a priest in Wisconsin, says that during this launching period, it’s critical to ask the right questions: “The questions we ask determine the direction of our lives. If we ask the right questions, we’ll go one direction. Ask the wrong questions, and it’s likely we’ll go in the wrong direction.”

Many people have internalized these kinds of questions:

  • How can I be more popular?
  • How can I have the most fun?
  • How can I make more money?
  • What will make me feel good?
  • How can I be most successful?

But the saints ask different questions. The greatest heroes and leaders ask questions like these:

  • Who am I?
  • Why was I created?
  • Who is Jesus Christ?
  • What is my purpose and mission in life?
  • Where am I going? How do I get there?
  • Whom will I serve?
  • How much of myself will I give?
  • To what state in life is God calling me?

Fr. Hirsch points out that “100% of men in the seminary are asking the second set of questions, and so are 100% of men and women in the best marriages.” They are seeking answers to selfless questions, not selfish questions.

What kind of questions are you asking yourself? Try bringing your deepest questions to prayer, then listen to the Holy Spirit for answers.

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” -Mt. 10:39