By Kelsey Higbee
Along with most of America, I have spent the last few weeks reliving my childhood by watching selections from Disney+ over and over again.
One of my re-discovered obsessions is the 90’s, classic Boy Meets World. This particular show was a favorite of my family. We would continually watch reruns as well as gather together to watch the new episodes when they would come on. Choosing this show to re-watch was a no-brainer, but watching it again as an adult has given me a greater appreciation for the life lessons of Mr. Feeny, Shawn, Topanga, and the entire Matthews gang.
In an episode in the first season, Mr. Feeny begins class by introducing a word problem for the students to solve. Convinced he has the right answer, Cory is annoyed when Mr. Feeny tells him he is wrong. In Cory’s brain, his answer is logical and makes sense. Every time he approaches the question, he comes to the same conclusion, and Mr. Feeny again tells him that his answer is incorrect.
Finally, at the end of the episode, Mr. Feeny asks the class the same question and reminds Cory that his answer is wrong. This time, though, Cory agrees.
After an episode full of life-lessons, Cory comes to another conclusion for Mr. Feeny’s problem. This time, Cory responds by saying, “I know that there’s not always one right answer. There may not even be an answer at all.” Impressed, Mr. Feeny replies, saying, “In the course of your education, you have been taught to look for the right answer, but you must also know that in life, many times the right answer is that there isn’t one.”
As I near the end of my time in seminary, I have found this to be extremely true.
I began my graduate education thinking I would know more answers to the theological questions I had. But, like Cory, I found out that many theological, biblical, and ethical questions do not have a clear answer. More classes end leaving me with more questions than I had walking in, but I have found a deep appreciation for this kind of education.
Rather than learning the correct answers, I have learned how to ask the right questions and think of a way to answer on my own. More times than not, my personal answer ends in “I don’t know.” This way of thinking leads to conversations with those who are different than me, seeking all perspectives and ways of thought.
When we realize that questions do not demand answers, we can begin to find value in others as we see that another perspective is just as valid as our own. In the world today, many are quick to pick fights with those who are different. My prayer for the world is that we learn from Cory and Mr. Feeny and understand that life often leaves us with unanswered questions. Rather than being disheartened by this, we should look at this as an opportunity to better love our neighbor and engage in a way of thinking that differs from our own norm.
Kelsey Higbee is a CBF Leadership Scholar and third-year Master of Divinity student at Logsdon Seminary in Abilene, Texas. She also serves as the youth intern at First Central Presbyterian Church.