“Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far away in the future,
you will gradually,
without even noticing it,
live your way into the answer.”*
‘The idea, then, is to force your brain off those predictable paths to purposefully “thinking wrong” – coming up with ideas that seem to make no sense, mixing and matching things that don’t normally go together.’**
Predictable is the dangerous path. It’s akin to Theory U‘s downloaded path, to Mindfulness’ autopilot. I’ve noticed how I miss so much because of the speed at which I move through life with predictability. I try to slow down in order to notice more – three or four slow breaths now helps me to stop the rush.
Erwin McManus makes the connection between noticing more and our quest for enlightenment:
‘It should be obvious that those who live enlightened lives have demonstrated a unique ability to learn from everyone and everything around them.’^
Living our questions is also about unfolding the stories in which we set our questions. Richard Rohr reflects the transformational nature for us of living what we love:
‘I see it in human beings all the time, we all become what we love.’^^
Erwin McManus helps us to see more of the detail of what is happening here:
‘We persevere in the confidence that we ourselves are being transformed. Perseverance produces character, and character, hope. And hope, we will discover, is the ultimate gift gained in wisdom.’^
Seeing our lives as stories lived around questions is about drawing lines through the randomness and complexity of life. Predictability hates questions because they enable us to see our lives for what they can be rather than what they are.
What is your question? (You’re allowed more than one.)
(*Rainer Maria Rilke, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)
(**From Warren Berger’s A More Beautiful Question.)
(^From Erwin McManus’ Uprising.)
(^^From Richard Rohr’s The Divine Dance.)