(This is a part of my "loaves and fishes" offerings - click here to see the original post - Living the questions - Part I is here.)
Only God can meet my haunting questions satisfactorily. I don't think He necessarily answers the question, but he promises to be with me – and that is [or at least was originally intended to be] enough.
The Lord is my Shepherd – I shall not want (ps. 23:1).
Oh to be so content and trusting that my every unanswered question dissipates in His Presence...that I don't need to know because His Presence that goes with me also gives me rest (a settledness/at-home-ness in His Presence) Ex 33
In Spiritual Direction with a compassionate listener, she, in her silent, attentive presence with me, gives me courage to be comfortable with unknowing. A good Spiritual Director, like a good river guide, has journeyed into the territory of the rough waters of the soul. She is engaged in the practice of encountering giant boulders of pain, swirling currents of questions and undertows of desire. She is one who is herself living the questions, surrendering to the heights, depths and widths of God's love that surpass her understanding (Eph. 3: 18-21).
The journey requires unknowing...a trustful surrendering of what I think I know to be true...this cannot be done in a nice, half-hour morning devotional where I extrapolate principles for bettering my life (behavior, attitudes, etc). For most North Americans bred on dualistic reasoning, linear thinking and with the internet at our disposal to gorge our brains with information – we think knowledge/info and "googling it" is power (perhaps even our means to 'salvation'). We believe answers will relieve our suffering. We are rarely invited to a journey of unknowing. Yet the One who is Mystery...well, He gently beckons...not to impart knowledge, but to be with.
Nouwen writes:“Teachers can only teach when there are students who want to learn. Spiritual Directors can direct only when there are seekers who come with a question. Without a question, an answer is experienced as manipulation or control. Without a struggle, the help offered is considered interference. And without the desire to learn, direction is easily felt as oppression” (8).
Do you have vexing questions? Are you weary of living in a pathological busyness that is sucking love and life out of your days?
Again, Nouwen offers the value of spiritual companionship and guidance: “Spiritual guidance affirms the basic quest for meaning. It calls for the creation of space in which the validity of the questions does not depend on the availability of answers but on the questions' capacity to open us up to new perspectives and horizons” (9).
Oh how I long for people to experience relief – to companion others into the rough and glorious waters of the soul. reFresh was born out of this longing to created unhurried space for the soul. But just as not everyone will desire to go on a wild, white water rapid adventure for fear of being flipped out of the boat...not many desire to go into unchartered waters and canyons and rapids of the soul...where breathtaking, life-altering views and experiences lay waiting. I long for reFresh to be a place where people can ask the questions, to live the questions with God and one another, to let the questions (and God) open us to new perspectives and horizons.
Anyone interested and want to join me?
If you are asking ultimate life questions - trying to “figure life out” - or ready to consider some of these deeper longings of your soul, please consider journeying with a soul friend – a trained spiritual director. Spiritual Direction is an ancient practice in the church – where you companion with a person who journeys alongside and lends you courage to pay attention to all that your life – your true life – is voicing and longing to voice and contribute to a world in need. A Spiritual Director does not direct or coach your life – but (s)he will help you overhear the nuances of your own soul in tandem with the True Director, the Holy Spirit. For more info or questions on how to find a Spiritual Director and/or ask what Spiritual Direction is all about, click here or on the links below.
- creating unhurried space for the soul
- soul care retreats, resources and coaching