In the beginning of a faith journey, there is a need for a strong and sure roadmap. We know what we believe and why. Over time, we may even be able to back up every sure tenet with a supportive scripture. It is important to have answers so we can live from a firm foundation. Over time, as faith and life become partners on the journey, a very necessary and normal next level of faith experience tends to arise. We will inevitably find ourselves in dark tunnels or perched on precipices of unsure footing that have the power to force us into a relationship with God that inspires us to question our pat answers. We begin to knock feverishly on the door, as Jesus tells us to do. To our surprise, when the door opens, we find ourselves face to face with, not blue skies and clarity, but the grey landscape of mystery. This is when the going gets dicey, but if traversed with some guidelines, can result in a deeper, more authentic relationship with God and others. The reason I share this with you is to be an encouragement to anyone who stands at this crossroads. When a season of questioning arises, I invite you to trust that God can handle your uncertainty, fear, or anger. As in any true and free relationship, hard questions, when discussed in sincerity, can strengthen the bond. First, look at some questions asked by people in scripture. For example, in Psalm 22, the author asks, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This is a foreshadowing of Jesus on the cross as He asks the same question in His hour of suffering. If Jesus is allowed to ask questions, are we not also allowed? Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” This is a challenging question, but one that we can sit with also, to explore our own response, in conversation with God from a place of deeper listening. These are just two of many, many questions in scripture. Second, you may want to share your questions with a trusted pastor or spiritual mentor. Spiritual Directors are trained to listen without judgment or agenda. They can companion with you as you listen for God’s guidance. I recently sat with our priest to discuss my struggles with healing prayer in light of our losses in the past year. It was helpful to share and process with a compassionate listener. Last, I will reinforce the plea to get to know God by spending time with Him in Scripture study, community, mental prayer, and contemplation. You will come to know a loving, Companioning Presence, whose voice you will come to recognize in the unfolding of your days. That is the miracle of the mystery.
“…Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths. Ask where the good way is and walk in it. And you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16
BSN, CMT, Certified Yoga Instructor, Spiritual Director