My Life Lessons, Retold in Punctuation Marks

My Life Lessons, Retold in Punctuation Marks September 15, 2016

There was a point in my life when a question mark hung over my head.

You see, I didn’t know the future, and it scared me. I couldn’t figure out tomorrow, next year or the future. I was paralyzed by the thought of just not knowing. Uncertainty led to stupidity as I tried to order the future around my pride. I eventually found a relationship with God, a place to turn the question mark into a period. But the story wasn’t over.

Then for a while my quest was for knowledge about the deeper things. I began to study thinkers — C.S.  LewisFrancis SchaefferJosh McDowellWalter Martin, Ravi Zacharais and other men who could give reason for faith gripped my mind. I loved the challenge, eager to share my headstrong belief. This was my semicolon season, where the sentences were never short and crisp, but full of reasoning and postulation.

Then I wanted to see where God was at work. I  talked to the homeless, the drug addict, the lost dogs who had wandered. I sought them out and shared the gospel and hoped for positive return. I wanted the experience of their lives, broken and yet so fixable. The comma indicated that there was more to say, that there was more to the story.

In the meantime,  I looked for God to stir my own soul, to awaken me every day.Then I just wanted to find my way back home. The path that I knew was right  was overgrown, neglected by my own disregard. Then abandoned by love, spurned by friends, and forgotten, I wallowed in pity.  I had all the salvation, all the knowledge and the experience in the world, but I still had no idea. The colon marked my days.

Now, there’s one thing I want. I ask for wonder. It’s a life without definition, and I’m alright with that. I want to hear the birdsong like it’s the first time. I want to lose myself in this deep love that has no beginning and no end. I want to drive on a dusty road with the windows down, the radio up high, a 1/4 tank of gas and not a worry in the world. On many days, it’s a life of an exclamation point.

Question mark
Photo by Milos Milosevic, used w/permission via Flikr Creative Commons

I’m thinking that my future may come full circle and be marked again by a question mark. And I’ve embraced that life.  I’ll get lost in the wonder of it all and just smile. I want to scrawl a question mark on a blank piece of paper without the grip of fear of the unknown.

Funny, but embracing the uncertainty is the most certain thing a man can do.
“We strain to renew our capacity for wonder, to shock ourselves into astonishment once again.”
Shana Alexander

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