September 23, 2021
“Try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live with them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now.” Rainer Maria Rilke
“Who do you say that I am?” “What do you think?” Jesus
So often we are so intent on knowing and sharing all the answers that we don’t pay attention to and embrace the questions, when, as Rilke says, we need to be able to live the questions now. Today we are surrounded by so many answers and cast-in- stone opinions: what clothes to wear, the best technology to own, the healthiest food to eat, the best exercises to flatten our stomachs, even what to believe and how to practice our faith. If you are a Christian, then you must be in favor of this or opposed to that. It seems that the more uncertainty there is in the world and the more often the ideas we once held to be true are falling by the wayside, the more we crave answers, even to the point of not knowing the questions.
Jesus asked lots of questions, at least 300 of them. And when he sought out people to carry his message out into the world, he didn’t go after the ones who had all the answers – the scribes and the Pharisees and those in positions of power. He went to fishermen and the like who didn’t have any answers, and he entrusted them to go out and change the world. When asked why his followers did things that were not according to the rules or customs, he frequently answered with another question. When asked why his disciples did not wash their hands before meals, he answered, “Why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?”(Matthew 15:3)
In other words, “Don’t hold your faith like an answer sheet; embrace what you don’t quite understand; let people know what you’re wondering about, and you’ll find more of God there than in any catch phrase. No one is going to believe any of our answers if we don’t let them know we have a couple of questions, too.”
(Excerpt from Live in Grace, Walk in Love by Bob Goff)
Start embracing the questions and you may just find it’s OK not to have all the answers. When we discover our common ground, we can explore the questions together.