quicksand of questions

The Discovery Channel says that if you get stuck in quicksand, the worst thing you can do is struggle. They say that if you fall into quicksand, “resist the natural instinct to kick your way out.” Instead, they suggest to “you need to stay calm and lean back“. Then, “as you begin floating, slowly start moving your feet“. That’s how you survive quicksand.

Pretty good advice for surviving questions. I mean serious death-threatening questions. There are many who don’t deal with questions at all. So they don’t travel. They set up camp in one spot and stay there the rest of their lives, risking nothing, endangered by nothing, learning nothing. But if you want to learn and grow, then it means travel, and it means maybe falling into the quicksand of questions.

So what do you do? Same thing:

  1. Do not struggle.
  2. Stay calm.
  3. Start moving slowly.

This has worked for me. Once you learn to relax and allow the questions to come, they eventually lose their threatening character and will sustain you in order for you to move on. Answers may come but they never replace the questions. They join together to form a mysterious thing called Wisdom.

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8 Replies to “quicksand of questions”

  1. They stay because they’re taughtology has brought them to a place of fear when dealing with any type of question, so they stay confident by never allowing themselves to (“be careful lest ye be tempted…”) venture beyond the fish bowl. I figured if God was a big as I thought God should be, God could handle my wandering, my adventures into the unknown. Not the land of the land of the lost but the land of the “seeking to be closer!”

  2. Excellent advice!
    I drowned in questions for a time until I realized the same, but I couldn’t have articulated it as well … thanks for the words to explain what I learned.

    And thanks for saving me should I ever find myself in actual quicksand … didn’t know the rules to surviving that before.

  3. Perfect! It is harder to relax when a bunch of people surround you and are yelling “OMG! You’re in quicksand, get out or your gonna die”!

  4. Just let it take you under…

    At first, you will panic because you’ll feel like you’re drowning. Your breathing is short, and you’re struggling to keep your head up. But then, bliss…when you realize that it’s okay to have questions, because that’s what makes the world interesting.

    You begin to embrace the questions, you start asking more and more and more…and when you realize that the only answer to some of those questions is ‘I don’t know’, you suddenly feel liberated, free of the ego trip that religion is, always saying it knows the answers when, really, it only wishes it did. As Carl Sagan once said, “We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.”

    We miss you, Carl.

  5. Hard not to panic when confronted with the feeling of suffocation. Questions lead to more questions . . . surrendering to the “I don’t know” is terrifying. Even more so when you voice your “I don’t know” aloud, which is my challenge and salvation.

    I can’t seem to process anything silently, I’m an extrovert on a cellular level. Voicing my questions has often caused others to recoil or, worse, attack, making quicksand a more attractive alternative at times. But, I will say, giving voice to my journey has honored it, honored me and compelled me to seek God more, slippery as He is.

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