My Life Questions

By Ken Sloane

He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39, NRSV).

When I was in the seventh grade, I went through confirmation – 36 weeks! We had a final exam with lots of questions. I got some of them right, some of them wrong. Then we had to meet one-on-one with the pastor, and he asked me lots of questions, and I guess I answered some of them right and some of them wrong.

When I got my call to ministry, I had to go before the SPRC committee in my church; and they asked me a bunch of questions. I got some wrong, but I must have answered some of them right because they sent me to the district committee and the board of ordained ministry. Lots more questions, and I’m sure I answered some of them right and some of them wrong.

I went to seminary, and near the end I had to write my Theology of Ministry paper, then defend it before two faculty members. They asked me all kinds of questions about my theology, Christology, and about my understanding of the Scripture, and I’m sure I answered some of them right and some of them wrong. I went for my doctor of ministry, and again questions and more questions. Some of them I answered right, some of them I’m sure I got them wrong.

I applied for my job at Discipleship Ministries (then GBOD), and I sent them my resume and filled out an application. You know what they did? They sent me a whole new set of questions! They wanted to know all about all kinds of things, like how much I knew about systems theory, and stuff like that. I interviewed with MaryJane Pierce Norton, Don Joiner, and Rick Gentzler; and they asked me more questions. Then I had to go see the psychiatrist and answer his questions, and I had to meet with Karen Greenwaldt and answer her questions. And I know I answered some of them wrong, and some of them right, I guess.

So now as I move into what will be the last third of my life, I’ve come to realize that at this point, there really are only two questions left that really matter – two questions left, and I need to be prepared with the right answers.

Did I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength? And did I love my neighbor as myself. And Jesus will know the answer already.