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This question inspired the series. It was asked of me (and a few hundred others) by a pastor at the church I attend. He was quoting Gene Siskel, as in “Siskel & Ebert,” who asked this question at the end of each interview he conducted. He did not ask it in the context of the interview. Not “What do you know for you sure about this movie? Or the upcoming release date? Or the cast that’s been pulled together?” No, Gene Siskel wanted to know his subject’s life philosophy, and the answer to “What do you know for sure?” reveals much about one’s philosphy.
Of course after this illustration was explained from the pulpit, it was connected to the current sermon series, and then asked of us. What do we know for sure? Not what might be true or what we assume to be right. What thing or things do we know deep inside of us that are unshakably true? The answer I jotted down–he asked us to write it down–was very spiritual: “Jesus is it for me. I have no idea who I am without him.” Today, as I write, I remain sure about the latter part. I’ve only known my life in the context of Jesus, in the context of Christianity. I actually don’t know how to disassociate the two. I could try, but I’d only be pretending.
The first part, “Jesus is it for me,” looks like I was concerned my neighbor was looking on as I wrote it. I think I meant it though. Not much else has proven steadfast in my twenties thus far. However, since the sermon and my bold privately written declaration, I’ve had a conversation with an agnostic who is content not knowing anything is for sure.
Oh to have that ability. Contentment in not knowing. I know, for sure, I need to know truth. I need to know something on this earth will not fall over no matter how hard I kick it. I’ve thankfully discovered resilience in a few things. But am also beginning to see things give a little that I once thought to be oak.
So I guess the question is not only “What do you know for sure?” but also “Do you need to know anything for sure?”
I believe in questions. I say this a lot; I’ll say it again…17 January 2011