Can We Ever be too Curious?

More thoughts about God from my recent trip to Italy:

The recent news about an American surgeon who mistakenly broke a finger off a valuable statue in Florence, Italy made me even more grateful to have visited another Florence museum — the Leonardo da Vinci Museum — where touching the objects is actually encouraged.

When surgeon Patrick Broderick stood by a statue of the Virgin Mary that was hundreds of years old, he compared the size of his hand to the statue’s hand. But expressing his curiosity had a mortifying result: he accidentally broke off one of the statue’s fingers. Fortunately for Broderick, who apologized for the incident, the museum decided not to press criminal charges against him or bill him for the damage. I feel for the guy, since I’ve let my own curiosity go too far in a museum, as well.  Years ago, during an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, I reached out to touch an Andrew Wyeth painting without even realizing what I was doing until a security guard ran up and pulled my hand away.  Fortunately I didn’t cause any damage to the painting!

Sometimes our curiosity can lead us to trouble if we express it without thinking about the consequences. But I believe that we should always find ways to appropriately express our curiosity, since exploring is vital to learning. What’s more, I believe that curiosity itself is always good — and we can never have too much of it.

At the Leonardo da Vinci museum, I relished the opportunity to explore and even play with copies of the many different types of machines that Leonardo invented. Leonardo is one of my heroes because of the wonderful ways he expressed his curiosity to be creative, out of his love for the Creator: God. Leonardo seemed to know that there shouldn’t be a limit to curiosity, just as there is no limit to what we can discover with God’s help when we use the creativity He has given us.

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