Call the Question

September 11, 2019

I was introduced to parliamentary procedure as a young lad in Future Farmers of America. We worked to learn Robert’s Rules of Order and then participated in contests in which we had to work through several professional scenarios using parliamentary procedure to arrive at pre-determined conclusions. I learned rules such as how to call a meeting to order, put a motion on the table, amend a motion, table a decision, call out a point of order, and most importantly how to adjourn a meeting. One of the rules I remember is called, “call the question”. It’s a time when anyone in the meeting can, with permission from the moderator, ask to end the debate and take a vote.

I’m not sure where Joshua learned Roberts Rules of Order but we see him exercise this “call the question” during his final challenge to the people. The book of Joshua tells how he led the people of Israel into the Promised Land and conquered it. Throughout the book Joshua urges the people to follow the Lord and worship him alone. Now in his final message to the people he recounts their story from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Esau; from the Red Sea and Jordan River; and the battles with the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, Jebusites and termites. Joshua ends his message with this call to worship the one true God…with a call to make a choice.

…choose this day whom you will serve…
But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Joshua 24:15

Without much thought it’s easy to respond as Joshua did, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” After all, it’s one of the most popular verses in all the Bible. We have it hanging on the walls of our homes and stuck on the bumpers of our cars. But is it merely hanging on our walls or are we living it in the halls? Is it simply stuck on our bumpers or is it fixed in every thump of our hearts?

It’s so easy to get caught up serving our work, our stuff, the pursuit of success, our kids and their activities, and the list goes on. So, it’s good practice to call the question: whom am I serving?  It’s really quite easy (though convicting) to determine the answer to that question. Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Where to I spend my time?
  2. Where do I spend my talent (gifts and skills)?
  3. Where do I spend my treasure (money)?

Be honest with these three questions and you have called the question.

Ryan Smallwood