Have you ever questioned your faith or wondered if what you were taught was true for you?
As a child, I learned about faith and religion from a catechism: a summary of principles of the Christian religion in the form of questions and answers. Catechisms were viewed as foundational among Roman Catholic and many Protestant denominations. While I memorized the answers the way I was taught, as I got older I realized that the answers were not sufficient for me. Even more significant was that the questions in the catechism weren’t the ones I was asking. I wanted something more that went beyond the boundaries of the preconceived questions and answers.
Many forms of traditional religion claim to have the answers to life’s questions. Today, that’s most evident among Evangelical Christians who often state with pride that they know all the answers based on their specific interpretation of the Bible. It’s very clear that many people today find that the answers provided by religion just don’t hold much weight.
My experience is that the journey of faith, the spiritual journey, is not based on answers. Instead, meaningful, well-grounded spiritual journeys begin with questions. When an insight becomes clear then another question emerges. The process continues so that rather than obtaining answers a person learns to live with the questions.
Those of us who believe in God need to accept that if this deity truly is Divine, then God is fundamentally unknowable. At best, we get glimpses of the essence of God. By definition, God is beyond our capacity to conceive and therefore always a mystery to us. To claim certain knowledge — an answer for all times — is to destroy the mystery or even deny the essence of God.
Instead, spiritual practices like meditation teach us to be present to the Mystery which is the source of life and permeates all of life. Rather than answering a question, we learn to live in a way that is open to the Mystery. In doing so, we learn to live into our questions.
In what ways can regular spiritual practice, like meditation, help you live with Mystery?
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© 2016, emerging by Lou Kavar, Ph.D.. All rights reserved.