What Do I Know for Sure? (After One Year of Asking Difficult Questions)

I believe in questions. I say this a lot; I’ll say it again: a life unquestioned is not a life worth living for me. Even the hard the questions. The one your mind reactionally tried to discard so you can’t think about this. Those. Those are the questions I tried to ask myself this year in my Mondays of posing difficult questions series.

My final question of the year goes back to the one I began with: What do you know for sure? I’ve realized this is what I was getting at all along. I wanted to figure out if we, as Christians, could know certain things for sure and if so, what were those things?

One thing I knew already but am now strangely more comfortable with: When it comes to faith, there are aspects I’ll never know for sure. All of this questioning, wondering, guessing, making up answers that ultimately aren’t satisfying and I have to delete and start over. All of that has made me more OK with not knowing everything. When I asked if we were humans or dancers, for example, that’s one I really want the answer to but I don’t have it yet. Also, the praying for your future spouse thing that many had an opinion on–still gets me.  But I’m not up in a wad about these questions like I was before this series. Why not? Because I finally asked them. The effect of simply taking a difficult question out of my head and finally placing it on the table has spurred conversations, some on this blog and a lot in my real life, that made me see others are asking the same thing. And, better yet, they have completely different perspectives than I that shed light on at least a corner of the answer to these questions. I’ve learned to relax and breathe easy about the hard questions that don’t have answers because I’m not the only one searching for them. The quest is not up to just me.

Quenching my need to succeed and make good grades, I am walking away from this series with a specific list of things I do know for sure. For example, as sobering as this is, I am certain most people settle in some way or another in their lives and I am certain this is OK and even a necessity. (As a commenter pointed out to me, settling is very much a first-world word and “problem” anyways.) The other stuff I became certain of this year falls under one sentence: God is sovereign. I am certain of his sovereignty in areas I can’t say I was certain before. He was sovereign in the garden. He is sovereign in poverty. He is sovereign in our weakness and inability to accurately portray who He is during our stints on earth. I don’t use His sovereignty as a blanket response to some of these difficult questions but as a genuine explanation I hadn’t understood before.

This year I have learned much and unlearned more. Unlearning is humbling. It’s forced me to see that my opinions are not steadfast and often not even true. If I stick to them, I’ll get in big trouble. This won’t stop me from creating them. I’m human and, therefore, need to know some things are for sure. That desire is in all of us and begging us to ask difficult, confusing and scary questions. It’s what we were made to do because somewhere, maybe not here, there are answers.