“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.”
My good friends Michael and Sheila Kimball from Longings End posted this powerful quote on their Facebook page last week. The words were penned by German poet Rainer Maria Rilk who lived from 1875 to 1926, and they spoke right to my heart.
On the day I read the quote I was consumed with frustration and worry over some issues with my son, and ‘what if’ scenarios had taken up residence in my head. But as I thought through what Rilk was saying, something inside of me relaxed. I love the part about living the questions now. Accepting them, rather than allowing them to tear us apart. Because, guaranteed, in every season of our lives we will have them. We will grapple with where our road is leading… what the future holds.
I want to be someone who truly ‘lives’ the season I’m in – who knows how to relax into it and let it be. I very much believe we must live intentionally, with strategy and purpose for the sake of keeping our lives healthy. But there is such peace to be had in accepting the season we’re in – in embracing its specific challenges. And for letting ‘good enough’ be good enough.
Rather than fearing uncertainty, we are wise to welcome it. Rather than battling doubts, we are sensible if we rest with them.
One of the most calming things for me is to remember my tomorrows are in the hands of the one who knows all about my yesterdays and todays.
When Jesus takes me home I’ll understand the rich tapestry of my life and his ultimate purposes for it. But for now I choose to make peace with the questions, knowing that my relationship with him is the ultimate answer in every stage and season…
““My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.””
(Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)