So we labored at the work and half of them held the spears from break of dawn until the stars came out. --Nehemiah 4:21
We spend a good part of our lives wanting answers, searching for answers, pursuing answers. We believe that if we have answers, we will have understanding. We will be able to make good and right decisions. We will be able to grow in maturity and wisdom. But it is questions, not answers, that are the way into our soul. Questions are the prods that part the dense assumptions, defenses, and barriers that keep us hidden from ourselves and from God. Questions are like busy burrowing ants. They wend their way through our mind and spirit and make us pay attention. They keep small holes and canals open in us so that the breath of the Holy One can flow freely through us.
Think of the provocative questions raised by the Biblical mothers and fathers. “How can this be? Why me? What must I do? Who sinned? What is your name? When will you come again? How do you know me? Will you heal me? Who are you? What is truth?” These questions are the pathway toward conversion, transformation, inner revolution. The answers, too, have their place. They create space in which to ask new questions. In the volley between questions and answers we dive into the unending spiral of layers that make us human – that make us alive – that make us yearn for intimacy with God.
When we keep asking questions, we are beginning to take the tentative steps that keep us spiraling into ourselves and into God. When we keep asking questions, we are holding the spears from break of dawn until the stars come out. It is a journey – a journey of adventure. A journey of glory. A journey of promise.
O God, when I search only for answers in my life, remind me that my work is to hold the questions faithfully from dawn to star’s rise.
These meditations by Renee Miller first appeared at explorefaith.org
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