Somehow in the Western culture we have placed a high emphasis on coming up with the right answers. I am not really sure how or when this began but we have become a people who only find achievement in obtaining the correct answer. It doesn’t matter what the topic or the question, the goal is always the same.
Now there are benefits in seeking out the right answers in life. I think that much of the success that the Western culture has achieved over the last century can be attributed to individuals and groups working to obtain the right answer. This goal has allowed us to make great advances in medicine, technology, and business. Without a goal, there is very little clarity in direction or motivation.
However, I find us often overlooking the even greater values of the journey. There are many instances of people and teams who are striving to find a specific correct answer to a specific question and end up discovering a new concept, product or approach to a problem. Many times these discoveries are achieved through the ongoing dialogue that take place between individuals. Allowing different viewpoints and approaches to collide and to adapt to one another provides an opportunity for new realizations and concepts to come forward. When a person is on a quest for an answer, it is easy to get tunnel vision. The person can easily focus on a list of expectations and lose sight of other possibilities. However, when a dialogue with another person or group of people takes place, the tunnel vision can be reduced and/or eliminated.
As a believer, I know that there are some answers that are not obtainable to me at this time. But I am also very aware of the value in dialoguing with others and journeying together in the quest for an answer. I know that this is how the Lord reveals new understandings and insights. I know that the Lord expects this to happen in community and not isolation.
As a leader, I also know that I am much more successful when dialoguing through a situation with a team of individuals than I ever am trying to obtain the answers alone. In the midst of discussion and debate, I experience different ways to address the situation and different understandings of the situation.
So I encourage everyone to treasure the dialogues, realize the goal is not always a correct answer, and grow in the process.