Curiosity Never Killed The Cat
Like me, you probably heard this phrase once or twice (or a million) in your life. It’s something that our parents would always say to us. I can recall several times as a young child where I was asking lots of questions about life to which an adult would simply respond with…
”Curiosity killed the cat.”
I’m not sure I even know what that phrase means to this day.
Is curiosity really a person?
How could curiosity kill anything?
Why would curiosity choose a cat to kill?
Is curiosity more into dogs?
Do adults know how terrifying this response actually is?
So. Many. Questions.
From a young age, we all are filled with awe and wonder of the big, beautiful world we live in. It’s only natural to be curious about it. My wife and I have three children, and there’s one question that they seem to ask more than any other question:
They ask “Why?” so often that it seems as if they do it just to make my head spin. But they’re not. They’re genuinely and sincerely asking because, as human beings, they have curiosity built into the very core of who they are. To deny our curiosity is to deny our humanity. We are all curious about something.
Walt Disney was curious about animation.
Steve Jobs was curious about computers.
Steven Spielberg was curious about film.
Abraham Lincoln was curious about equality.
J.K. Rowling was curious about writing.
You were curious about loving students.
Curiosity is a driving force within us to want to understand something deeper.
It’s a hunger in your bones that propels you into new and exciting spaces of life that you could never have dreamed of going.
Author/Blogger/Podcaster/Speaker/Curious Person Elizabeth Gilbert once said:
“Curiosity only does one thing, and that is to give. And what it gives you are clues on the incredible scavenger hunt of your life.”
What a beautiful reminder to us that our curiosity is actually a gift. It’s a gift from God. If we don’t pursue the things that make us curious then we are missing out on the vastness of the world God has made for us to explore. If I’ve learned anything about my relationship with Christ it’s that it’s actually more than a relationship. It’s an adventure.
[bctt tweet=”Jesus has invited us to get curious and explore the world with him.” username=”ys_scoop”]
The problem is that most of us haven’t allowed ourselves to get curious in a long time. We find something that works and we end up sticking with it. Perhaps it’s a daily routine, or a workout regimen, or a format for youth group. Whatever it is, we tend to seek out comfort. Curiosity can be uncomfortable. Curiosity forces us to break the routine and try something new or look at something differently than before. Curiosity can undo what we thought we knew.
As creatures of habit, this can be terrifying.
Take the Pharisees and Sadducees, for example. They were comfortable. They had a methodology and way of life that worked for them. There was order. Then Jesus comes along and destroys it all with his curiosity. Jesus swoops in and begins asking questions which challenged the comfortable lives they had created. Jesus wasn’t afraid to get curious. Everywhere he went, he brought that curiosity along and it baffled people time after time after time.
Jesus got curious about love.
Jesus got curious about grace.
Jesus got curious about equality.
Jesus never held back his curiosity. He asked hard questions and went to places he wasn’t supposed to go. If the phrase had been around back then, I’m pretty sure the religious rulers would have told him, “Curiosity killed the cat, Jesus” to which I’m pretty sure Jesus would have responded with…
“Curiosity never killed the cat. Your lack of curiosity, however, is killing you.”
When you stop being curious, you stop living. You can probably think of at least one person (probably from your church) who has lost their curiosity. They’ve settled into mediocrity and have become a deeply unpleasant person because of it. They complain about anyone and everything that doesn’t do things they way they think they should be done. They are constantly critiquing everything. In many ways, they’ve adopted the lifestyle of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They work hard at resisting change and innovation.
If you haven’t allowed yourself to get curious in a long time, you too can quickly end up in a very similar state of being. Is that what you really want? Do you want to be alive but not really living? Are you satisfied with your adventure with Christ being lackluster and not really an adventure at all? Of course not!
It’s time to get curious again!
Start asking questions. If you’re dealing with an angry parent, ask them what’s going on at home. Imagine what you might discover in that situation. Maybe they’re having marriage trouble or addiction problems or dealing with depression. You’ll never know till you ask.
Start doing things you’ve always wanted to try. What’s stopping you? Whether it’s an event you’ve always wanted to hold or a lesson you have been saving for months, you’ll never know its value until you try it.
Don’t ignore the “What if’s…” What if we tried to do youth group differently? What if I sought out therapy for my depression? What if I went back to school? What if I quit my job and found a healthier church environment? If you’re full of “What if’s…” I dare you to try one. See what happens. See what you’ll find. See what adventure Jesus wants to take you on.
Your curiosity matters. It matters just as much as Walt Disney’s or Steve Job’s. You see, there’s nothing inherently more special about those guys (or any well known individual) than you or I. They just got curious. They didn’t stop asking questions and trying things. They all hit road blocks at times and kept pressing on. When one thing wouldn’t work out, they got curious about another.
You cannot let fear or comfort keep you from your curiosity. What you’re curious about is a gift from God that He has given you to explore. So go, ask, try, and do. Never stop getting curious. There’s always more to explore.
Remember, curiosity never killed the cat.
Ryan Schmall is the Student Ministries Pastor at Redding First Church of the Nazarene in Northern California. He is married to his wife Jeanette, and together they have three amazing girls. Ryan is passionate about creating experiences and environments for people to encounter God in new and unique ways. You can follow him on Twitter or read his blog over at iamryanschmall.tumblr.com
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.