LIVE the Questions

Here’s a good example of a post I started and stopped several times (thinking few would understand) before taking my own advice to “write it anyway.”

* * *

Live the Questions! click pic for link to source

Go ahead and call me crazy, but the best part of the past year – hands down, far and away beating out all other contenders – has GOT to be learning to live with question marks.

  • What caused it?
  • What’s going to happen?
  • When will that be?
  • How will we manage?
  • How long until we know more?
  • What are we going to do if such-and-such….?

Answer to all: Don’t know.
And THAT’s not so easy for someone whose identity is built largely on knowing the answers. (See previous post, where I prepare to unravel the U.S. Tax Code. :-))

Comment seen on Facebook today: “For me, it’s that NOTHING has been resolved at all. There are so many questions and I keep waiting for at least one of them to be answered.” Okay, the writer was talking about the TV show “LOST.” Not exactly the same situation as ours, but let’s not get competitive about this. My point:

Most of us are not at peace in the presence of questions-without-answers.

Living by faith is something we do a lot of talking about, but in the face of “I really don’t know,” where are we really with God? I mean, one on one. No platitudes. No pat answers.

Face to face with Him, what do you say? What do you hear? I mean, after the delay (because it takes a while to switch stations – and stop picking up the static of other voices)?

It’s a great place to be, the terrible-and-holy place of I-don’t-have-any-answers. Sacred. I should have taken notes.

* * *

I found the quote I’ve been searching for!  Nice surprise, finding it.

…have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and 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 them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” -Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903, in Letters to a Young Poet (bolding mine)

Live the questions. Absolutely.

Out for a walk on Wednesday, I found the chill October air invigorating and was reminded of a former colleague’s words as she reflected on leaving IBM many years ago, not knowing what she’d do next, “It can be good to get out there and feel the cold wind in your face.”

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
This entry was posted in cancer, control, faith, letting go, prayer, unknowns, waiting. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to LIVE the Questions

  1. Oh the question mark and I are sooo tight. 🙂 I loved this post and am so glad you finished writing it…great perspective…and it ironically helped answer an insignificant question I had on my mind for sometime, “Does anyone really read my silly Facebook page?” 😉


  2. Marilyn says:

    Hahaha. I couldn’t remember WHOSE page I’d seen it on, BUT when I saw it I realized it connected with this post, which was partly written and I was thinking of not using it. When I saw your friend’s comment, it reminded me that this is a pretty universal feeling, discomfort with unanswered questions.


  3. Deidra says:

    You are going deep today my friend! I’m glad you “wrote it anyway!” Those unanswered questions drive me batty. I NEED to know. I always tell God I don’t need to know everything…just enough. But I’m sure He knows I don’t really mean that. I always want to know it all. Instead, in His usual fashion, He has chosen to teach me patience by withholding some of the stuff I want to know. And I am learning to trust Him more and to just let it be. Well. Most of the time. OK. Some of the time. OK. I’ve tried it a few times in the past. Now I’m off to try to live my way into the answer.

    Thanks for this post.


  4. Ed Brenegar says:

    I like questions too. Great post. thanks.


  5. Chris Craven says:

    Thanks friend. I am settling more and more into this question stage. I do think there is something sacred in living in the question period, it streches me, it centers me and it humbles me. A beautiful post reminding me once again to rest and refocus.


  6. God is the best writer of “story” ever. I am content, knowing that he knows, although I say that in humility, knowing too, that the trials you endured are ones that I have not had to walk through.

    I too, loved this post.


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