8 Benefits of How Living Into Our Questions Can Help Us to Understand God Better
by Mark Votava
I am starting to embrace living into my questions more freely. There are a lot of questions in me and instead of feeling bad about it, I am learning to see this as a good thing. As years of experience are teaching me, there is so much mystery to life, God and the world I find myself in. Nothing can be boxed up to neatly fit into my labels, categories and perceptions. I just might be wrong in what I think at this moment.
So I am on a journey of listening more deeply to discover what is true for me at this time in my life. My perceptions of life were so different a decade ago, but it is what I experienced then. I cannot discount everything about my experience during that time, but that is not where I am at today. If we are not constantly discovering, learning and exploring what is within us then we are not truly living.
I want everyone to have the freedom to live into their questions to find themselves. So many times propositional theology keeps us from finding ourselves and the kingdom of God within us. We are so blinded by the intellect that is disconnected from the body. This is a sad tragedy and needs to be discerned on a deeper level.
So after forty one years of life, I am coming to see that my questions are not to be feared but to be embodied within me in everyday life. I need to live in an ongoing existential crisis where I can discover who God is to me in the present moment. Embracing my negative emotions, confusion, pain, anxiety, anger and insecurity could possibly teach me something more about myself, God or the world.
Do not fear where these questions may take you. They are our salvation. They will help you to discover who you are in your true self without the illusions of our own making. You will run free as you feel your feeling that these questions bring which is a good thing.
Authenticity lives within us. Maybe we have never gotten in touch with it, but it is there. Living into our questions draws out this authenticity within. As we search to find it, we will find the kingdom of God within where love and compassion never die.
Here are 8 benefits of how living into our questions can help us to understand God better.
1. Leaves room for reflection and rest
Certainty leaves no room for reflection. Certainty leaves no room for rest within us. We need to lose our certainty about everything we think we know and live into our questions.
2. Teaches us to seek God
Living into our questions is a powerful teacher. Certainty is a cliché that says it is okay to stop seeking God because we already have all the answers. Certainty will not experiment.
3. Integrates the body with the intellect
Certainty will not learn anything new. Certainty stops at propositional theology. It will not explore a theology or spirituality of place. Certainty pushes away the local community and embraces our intellect only at the expense of our bodies.
4. Brings us to an existential loss
Peter Rollins says in his book Insurrection, “…in Christianity when one is crushed by a deep, existential loss of certainty, one finds oneself in Christ.”
5. Pretending, arrogance and default modes of knowing are gone
When we become crushed by a loss of certainty, we become more holistic as the body of Christ in the parish. Let us stop pretending that we understand everything about one another, life and God. There are too many mysteries to live in certainty. Certainty is a default mode of knowing.
6. Enter into a process of discovery
We come to know in more holistic ways through uncertainty, questions and a process of discovery. Our reflection and rest helps us to live into our questions. We come to understand that in our questions is where we most effectively seek God. This is where we find an integration of the divine life within us.
7. Develop a posture of listening and learning
Christ is the opener of a world of possibilities as we embody living into questions in our local community. Christ poses contextual questions to us as we are called to follow him into a posture of listening and learning. Our parish is too complex for us to pretend that we know everything about its context.
8. Become an expression of love together
Living into our questions will give us greater clarity and wisdom over time, but this never happens overnight. It takes a very long time to start to understand how to become an expression of love together in a place. A decade is just the starting place of understanding these things.
Do your questions draw out fear, anxiety or insecurity in you?