“I Don’t Know.”

One day some old men came to see Abba Anthony. In the midst of them was Abba Joseph. Wanting to test them, the old man suggested a text from the Scriptures, and, beginning with the youngest, he asked them what it meant. Each gave his opinion as he was able. But to each one the old man said, “You have not understood it.” Last of all he said to Abba Joseph, “How would you explain this saying?” And he replied, “I do not know.” Then Abba Anthony said, “Indeed, Abba Joseph has found the way, for he has said: ‘I do not know.’

I came across this story reading a book lately and fell in love. So much of my life I have been so afraid of these words. They scarcely came across my lips. Knowing the answer (whatever it might be) is everything. I’m in recovery only recently being able to admit I don’t know. I want to keep today’s post short, I don’t want to spend a lot of time expounding on the idea and convincing you it’s a relevant, maybe later.

For now, let this parable do a work in you, let the words shape a new mental map in you like a slow moving river carving out a new stream. Let them slowly bubble over your lips like water over the rocks next time you feel the urge to have to have your life all figured out. I don’t know, a door to freedom.

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