Learning To Live Without Answers

{By David Rupert}


I remember standing behind the lectern, laser pointer in hand. Teaching, leading, I imparted knowledge and inspired action. But to be honest, I was no expert. I just learned how to study and how to relay the finer points.


Hundreds of times I looked at eager eyes from the chairs pulled into a circle. Opening the book, pointing out history and theology and imagery, everyone said how great it was.  I really didn’t know anything more than anyone else.


A long time ago I took a position behind the pulpit, preaching God’s word with eloquence and wisdom. But I didn’t always believe what I spoke. I mouthed the words but didn’t always allow them to seep into my heart. My river was wide, but very shallow.


Eventually the truth caught up. I led marriage enrichment classes and then let mine slip away. I talked to men about purity and let the sewage seep into my own life. I taught about families and then mine ended up in chaos. The keys on the counter and the note told me that I was a fool.


I had lived the life of the hypocrite.


The eyes of the approving flock that once gleamed with anticipation because my delivery was smooth and my words were well-formed now turned away. The pretender is fine as long you don’t show your true colors. Just keep with the sweet talk, the ear tickling and they’ll look the other way.


I received so much approval, but what I really need was honesty.


After a fall from grace, you don’t have much. Your acquaintances are long gone. And your friends are a little tired of your story. All you really have is a Savior that just won’t leave. “Just you an me, kid” he says with a smile. “It will get better.”


And it has. It’s been a long road back. But these days I’m sticking to transparency and simplicity. Those red letters give me new life.


Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.”


Why did I complicate it so?


I Don’t Know


One of the most freeing results of this fall from infamy is the realization that I just don’t have all the answers. I used to believe that there was no question that couldn’t be tamed through enough Bible study or revealed in a sermon or teaching. But these days, I’m fine with no answer. I’m comfortable with the mystery.


I don’t know what to do . . . and that just is so humbling. The most liberating thing I can ever say is “I don’t know.”


Asking for help is an exercise that cuts to the core of my pride. It means that my knowledge is deficient, my experience inadequate or my basis lacking.


I have filing cabinets full of folders, shelves lined with books and hard drives full of notes and that might impress you. But the know-it-all I was once is now a different man. I’m inching my way toward the clear water, dipping my lips and drinking, just like it was the first time.


And for this place, I give thanks.


{photo credit: tammy.hendricksmeyer}


David2David Rupert on any given weekend can be found wandering the Rockies, fly-rod in hand, and trying to figure it out. He may be a communications professional and writer for a government organization by day, but by night, he’s taking seriously the call to encourage the Body. Spurring another to share their gifts, is a passion of his. He especially points to Christ’s words on his blog called Red Letter Believers and continues to reach others through his many publications in magazine articles. While he has his hands full, he is also the community editor at The High Calling, and adding to the list, his new book set to release in June 2014 is called  Disconnected: How to Turn Around Every Broken Relationship.  While yet another book, Make a Difference: Growth in Leadership, and many more writings by him can be found here as he continues to seek out more ways to encourage others.


8 Comments on “Learning To Live Without Answers

  1. David, that part about “asking for help is an exercise that cuts to the core of my pride,” AMEN. I still struggle in this area. Thank you for being transparent and in doing so, you may as well have written my testimony, minus the pulpit. Thank you.

  2. Me too, me too Brother. Once upon a time I was a “Temple Prostitute”. I wrote about that time in my life. I know what you say here– intimately. I also hear what you are not saying… keenly. THIS is the Body we need. You know, the one broken for our brokenness? Yeah. I’m gonna keep hangin around because you know there’s no turning back…no turning back when you’ve decided Who you’re really following. Bless you.

  3. David, thank you for your honesty and transparency. It took a lot of courage to write this, and your words bring healing to me. May God continue to give you back all that you’ve lost along with all that you’ve gained. May God bless you, friend.

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