Wait, Who Did Shoot J.R.?

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In the summer of 1980, everyone was asking the question, “Who shot J.R.?” For those of you not around then, J.R. Ewing was the villainous character on the hit series Dallas.  That year’s season ended on a cliffhanger where J.R. is shot by an unseen assailant outside his office. The mystery became a global phenomenon. The question was referenced in the upcoming presidential election. Vegas was taking bets over ‘who done it.’ The star of the show, Larry Hagman, was offered a million pounds to give away the answer (he didn’t know). A former president and even the queen of England tried to coax the answer out of the production. It took eight months and four episodes to finally reveal the shooter.

The funny thing is as big as the question was most people don’t remember the answer. The important as the question seemed to be, the answer did seem to matter much.

Lots of things in our life are like that. At the moment we are captivated by them. It grabs our attention. It becomes our focus. But when we look back, we can seem to remember what all the fuss was about.

The best questions are ones that have worthwhile answers. In our lives maybe we should be seeking answers that will truly matter. Don’t get so caught up in the buzz of the trivial that you forget to gain knowledge that will be worth the search.

Barry Haynes
Hope church of Christ
Hope, AR

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