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THE Two Big Questions

Two thousand years ago, there was a great Rabbi named Akiva.  Akiva was heading home late one night, when the darkness and fog caused him to make a wrong turn.  Rabbi Akiva ends up at this massive Roman outpost.  As Akiva approaches, he hears a wrestling on top of the wall, and a soldier yells down “who are you, and what are you doing here?jump-for-joy-219x300

Akiva responds, “Excuse Me?”

The guard yells, again, “Who are you?  What are you doing here?”

Akiva pauses, and then asks: “How much are they paying you?”

The guard says “What?”

Akiva repeats,  “How much are they paying you?”

The guard states, “20 denarius a week.”

Akiva says: “I’ll pay you twice that to come to my house every morning and ask me those two questions.”


[This tidbit is from Rob Bell.  I love his story telling,  this story in particular.  So, I hope Rob doesn’t mind me quoting his podcast, which can be found here, Robcast episode #128]

Rabbi Akiva’s story reminds me of a recent funeral I attended at a very large Baptist church in Orlando.  The preaching was excellent (those Baptist preachers know how to give a sermon, don’t they?).  The funeral was for someone who died before their time, if that makes any sense.  Young.  Healthy (odd description of someone who’s passed on, but bear with me).  Anyway, the unspoken question was “Why did God take this man early?”

I remember the preacher explaining the following: the important question for God is not “Why did You take this person?”  The question we should ask ourselves is: “Why are we still here?”