In my undergraduate classes, it was so rare to hear an “I don’t know” from a professor. These brilliant men and women, who had devoting themselves studying, researching, and writing in their fields for years, could seemingly grapple with any question thrown at them. When people know that much, it almost becomes a game to try and stump them.
Well, we find ourselves in Great Lent, and I am admitting defeat. I am stumped by Orthodoxy. There is so much that I simply don’t know.
It’s hard to admit this because I want to know everything. Yet the more I pray, the more I read books and articles and listen to podcasts about Orthodoxy, and the more church services that I attend during Lent, I am still not prepared to answer questions definitively, to say that I know, well, anything. On the contrary, these experiences have me thinking: wow, I’m confused; I don’t know much at all.
These past few weeks, I’ve been admitting to not knowing so often. In fact, I’ve made it a point to live in the “I don’t know.” To lean into, to become acquainted with, and even to embrace the things that I don’t know.
Because in life, there’s a lot that I don’t know, and there’s a lot that I will never know (it’s a little scary, but a lot of truth lies in that statement).
I’ll never know why certain friendships have faded, why certain relationships haven’t worked out, or
why bad things happen to good people. I’ll never know why there is sickness and suffering in this world of unfathomable amounts.
So...where’s the solace in all of this?
Well, it lies in what I know.
As a wise priest once told me at summer camp, when you read the Bible, you should focus on what you know. So I’ve been trying really hard to do this in all aspects of my life: to focus on what I’ve already known, and to learn what I can from everything I read, listen to, and every person I talk to.
Unlike most professors, I’m quite happy to admit that I don’t know. The process of coming to understanding that there is a lot which I don’t know about my faith is what has led me to want to learn all that I can.
What I do know is so important: that Christ died for me and that He loves me. That I have put my faith and trust in Him.
And that’s spectacular enough to get me through all of the things that I don’t know.
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Maria is the Administrative Coordinator of Y2AM. She is a New York native who isn't completely sold on the city's charm, yet has never left. A proud graduate of Fordham University and occasional runner, she is happiest whenever chocolate, a sale, or a good Gilmore Girls reference is involved.