There are not many questions or scenarios that leave folks stumped or catch them off guard after trudging this planet for multiple decades. That’s why I was surprised that I was stumped by a simple question.

“Please fill these out.” I didn’t mean to give the young lady at the doctor’s office a dirty look, it was more confusion than anger. The stack of papers she handed me was as thick as a Popular Mechanics.

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The forms were typical doctor’s office forms, at first. By the time I got ten pages in they were stepping on toes. At twenty pages in, they were looking for dirt, digging up bones. They didn’t just ask about my physical issues.

The forms started hawking me about my mental leanings. Questions and more questions. It began to feel more like a police interrogation than a doctor’s visit.

I was ripping through the questionnaire at light speed, not caring about my horrific penmanship. Plus, I was past the point of confusion. I was frustrated. It was an hour past my appointment time and I was still in the lobby filling out blasted papers.

I flipped over to another page with aggressive annoyance. The very next question brought my speeding pen to an abrupt halt. I thought quickly of a generic answer so I could push toward the end of the catalog of forms. Nothing came to me.

I looked around trying to clear my head, determined to get past the prying question. I put the pen to the page as if that would somehow force my mind to come up with an answer. No dice.

“Look at this,” I showed my wife. “How are you supposed to answer something like that?” I asked her. She was silent for a second then said, “You want me to answer it for you?” she smiled.

“No,” I didn’t smile and read the question again, “In one or two words describe yourself.”

There is no way to describe yourself without considering your core values. To use one or two words to describe any person really boils down the thing that dominates their life.

I pondered how to answer the question. I then thought about my wife’s sarcastic question and how others might describe me in one or two words. I considered the words “laid back” to define me, but I knew that would be a blatant lie. I thought about other words, none that came to mind were the ones I’d like to be described as.

After several minutes I had to skip the question. I didn’t know the answer or I didn’t want to incriminate myself. I wasn’t sure which.

I mentally took the question with me to wrestle with later.

I remembered the times when others that knew me well used the word “intense” to describe me. I couldn’t argue.

I answered the question to myself as honestly as I could. It wasn’t the word I wanted it to be. My descriptive word doesn’t point completely to God or His attributes.

The one word that describes me best is “motivated”. I’m not proud of the answer to a simple question. What one or two words describe you?