Out of the mouth of babes...most of us have heard that. Our guest blogger this week is Karen Batchelor at Midlife's A Trip. Here, once more, out of the mouth of Karen's niece comes the truth that we don't have to know everything. It IS OK to be out of answers for the moment. Even at the middle of our lives, we don't have to have the answer.
Well, thank goodness! What a relief!
Have you ever just not had the answer to an important question. Like:
• What's should I do with the rest of my life?
• Where should I live?
• Should I retire?
• Who should I vote for?
As I got to a certain age, I felt like I was expected to have all the answers--or so it seemed. Well, my 3 year old niece Maddie taught me that it's OK to admit when I don't know the answer to an important question.
Maddie is this completely candid darling little person. On Easter Sunday, she and her mom (my sister) went to service with me at Renaissance Unity. Although we offered Maddie the opportunity to go to Sunday school, she wanted to go to "big girl church" with us.
We sat in the "family area" at the back of the sanctuary where people with babies and small children hang out. On Easter Sunday, the sanctuary was filled to the rafters--1600 people coming together to worship and connect. As the service progressed, Maddie sat and listened, danced a little as the choir sang and was quiet during the meditation. All in all, she was doing really well for a little person in big people's church. And then Greg, our minister started his sermon.
About half way through, Greg asked a question about the resurrection. Of course, it was just a rhetorical question.
"What was Jesus doing in the tomb" Greg asked. The congregation was silent; waiting to see where Greg was headed on this point. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Again Greg asked "What was Jesus doing in the tomb?" Again the congregation was silent. And then, in answer to Greg's question, a loud clear voice echoed throughout the church proclaiming "I don't know" It was Maddie.
As you might imagine, my sister and I were in shock, at least for a few minutes. The entire congregation fell out laughing, including Greg and finally we did too. Maddie wasn't the least bit bothered by everyone's laughter. I think she was still waiting for an answer to Greg's question!
I must say Greg recovered nicely--he has small children too. His response was "at least I know someone was listening to me". And indeed Maddie was. Greg asked his question twice, no one else answered, she didn't know the answer and told him so.
One day, we'll educate Maddie about rhetorical questions but for the time being the lesson I learned from her that day sticks with me. It's OK not to know all the answers-- be they your own internal query or one from outside. As Maddie put it--just say you don't know. Say it loud and say it proud.
Karen is a blogger and certified professional coach focusing on women in midlife transition. Karen had climbed the corporate ladder with much success until she realized one day, 'oops, wrong ladder!' She wasn't living into her values or life purpose so she climbed off that ladder and went in search of her passion, helping people and using her creativity to do it. As she says, 'Midlife isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself!' For more Karen, go to www.midlifesatrip.com .
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