Asking Questions (or The Hunger for Meaning in a Time of Disruption”)

We are all asking questions right now, aren’t we?  How will we make it?  Can I survive? What will life look like next month much less next year?

Are we asking the ‘right’ questions?  Are we thinking ‘big’ enough in these questions?

The questions I am asking myself are fear-based, focusing more on what this pandemic will take away and strip down.

But what if I shifted the narrative?  What if I asked what will this time we are living through accelerate in my life

I am terrified of it stripping me of my accumulations rather than asking another question, another way: will this accelerate what is most important and necessary in my life (and putting it at the service of others?).

Will it accelerate my calling, my hunger to serve, the stripping away of fear for greater freedom of both will and soul?

Will this pandemic – with all the social isolating and social distancing – leave us altered when we come out on the other side?  Will social distancing and loss of touch and intimacy be permanent?  Will I be more isolated and me-focused?

Or will I be more fiercely outward and other focused?

I know some of us have no time for such ponderings.  And don’t think I am pondering these questions in a safe bubble of economic and emotional security.   Since February 2020, my whole world has been stripped even without the pandemic. 

In the last 65 days, this is what I am walking through sober and with God: my fiancée decided (with much introspection on her part) that she could not marry me nor be in any relationship right now; I resigned from a good-paying nonprofit job to relocate from Virginia to Kentucky to start a new social enterprise that the pandemic slammed the door on leaving me unemployed with no access to unemployment benefits because I resigned and no access to small business loans because of the newness of my incorporation; and with little in the bank, I moved back to Virginia where I am house sitting for 3 weeks with no other housing prospects in the pipeline as of this writing and only what is in my savings account to live on.

I am NOT seeking sympathy or pity; others are suffering far worse than I.  I am merely saying that my pondering the hunger for larger questions to be asked and answered is not taking place under the false security of wealth and security – far from it.  This hunger to ask larger questions is coming from a place where God is always Present…on the edges and deep within.

For whether our theology or religion or belief system allows this to be true, God is present in and through all of this, and lovingly so.  It is precisely this Infinite Love and Presence that allows me the chance to step back and use this time to learn to be more present, ask deeper questions, and learn to practice all the monastic readings I have covered over the last decades.

So, back to the questions.  Are we asking the deeper questions?  Are we asking the bigger questions?

Maybe we could simplify it down to this question: rather than ask what I am going to lose at this time, maybe I can ask what is going to accelerate?  What good thing I am called to do will accelerate to the surface?  What good thing have you secretly hungered to do that could come through crisply, beckoning you to let go and move, albeit slowly, in a different direction, a direction more intimately connected to Love and service?

It’s not always about the answers.  Sometimes, my friends, it is all about the questions.

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