Patience With Books Written In A Foreign Language

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 foreign language. Do not search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live with them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer

Rainer Maria Riike, Letters To A Young Poet I think this is one of the most poignant and convicting and inspiring quote that I have ever come across. Let me be clear. Be prepared to laugh…here it goes. Okay, I am a Sagittarius. Ha ha. Zodiacs are so hilariously irrelevant to life. Au contraire, dear reader. I don’t know about your experience but the weird astrological category I was born into it is far from inaccurate to both my strengths and my struggles. Alright, enough justification for my weird affinity for astrology… As a Sagittarius, I am prone to wandering, questioning, experiencing and thinking. On many levels this is a blessing and in many others it is a burden. I am a key offender of worrying myself into a tizzy over what Riike denotes as “locked rooms or books written in a foreign language.” I. hate. not. knowing. Okay, don’t get me wrong. The mystery of life and its tendency to provide gifts and knowledge at the most unexpected times is one its most beautiful characteristics. I enjoy the journey…however, my nature tells me to discover the answer and warns me that until I do, I will be plagued with a permanent–at least until I find the answer–sense of anxiety, of waiting on the brink of something that I know will be either difficult or life changing.

I realize that this is not a healthy way to live. I never thought it to be particularly unhealthy until I started exploring the effects of the constant expectation on my heart. To find the answer, I looked to a book which I know is full of truths that I identify myself with. The Bible, of course.
I knew there was something I was doing wrong. Not that being excited about the future is wrong at all but the fact that my¬†excitement for the future was distracting me from the present was not ideal. It honestly left me feeling empty. I wasn’t allowing myself to have the immeasurable joy I am called to have in the present. I was seeking peace for the future…not in the present.

Let me expand here with some wise words from my man, Solomon, from Proverbs 3

13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her.

The first time I read this, I found nothing convicting. In fact, I found that justification for my hunger for knowledge and wisdom. I mean…wisdom makes a man or woman, obviously, “happy.” According to Solomon, the search for and acquisition of wisdom is more beautiful than silver or gold. Hey, thanks Solomon! I should be proud, right? I have sought after wisdom rather than wealth and that means I should be happier! Hmmm, then why am I not?

There’s one thing from this passage that changes everything.

17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her.

According to Solomon, I should be consistently happy. I should, through the seeking of wisdom, be pleasant and full of peace in all I do. What am I doing wrong then? Well, to be honest, I am missing the point completely. That’s what I am doing wrong.

Going back to Riike’s quote in the beginning, “living everything” is where I consistently fail. Solomon wasn’t speaking about seeking after answers to questions for the purpose of having knowledge and therefore peace, he was talking about seeking the peace that is inherent when you live out your questions and be so spiritually attentive that when the answers come in their time, you will recognize them as an old friend and smile.

It is wisdom and understanding of the Spirit of the living God and the life of Christ, alone that carries this peace, that makes life not a constant battle with apprehension and anxiety but a life pleasant and full.

Wow, have I been mistaken or what? The fruit of the Spirit is peace and patience with knowledge and answers to life questions. It is my desire to seek peace and pursue it.   I am SO done with waiting on answers to silly questions in anxiety and  unrest. I am tired of my happiness being conditional on the actions of another or on the acquisition of an answer to a question I may never find the answer to.

My happiness, my peace, my joy will be unconditional. It will be based upon the unconditional love that I first received and will be deeply rooted in the acquisition of a grace that I did not deserve or work for.

My life’s joy will be to find life in the reading of the a language I do not understand and in the mystery of the locked room for it is on those journeys that the Lord will move in me, through me, and all around me.

Selah

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