In 3rd grade I punched a boy in the stomach and found myself in the principals office, feeling small like a mouse staring up at the giant behind his desk. He dialed and breathed into the phone. On the other end spoke the vice-principal at the junior high campus- my dad. Womp. Womp.
“Why did you do it,” he asked?
Shrug. “I don’t know.” Curiosity? Sheer desire to try something hidden under the rules? Rebellious nature? Maybe all three.
Our son went through a biting phase and bit two of our friend’s kids. Then another at the gym. His response when I asked why? “I don’t know.”
A friend longs for marriage and babies and, once having them, wrestles with wanting to be at work and directing a team and entering into adult conversations. She knows the grass is always greener, but there it is again. “I don’t know.”
An awkward friendship can bring tension to the surface and you can find yourself across from someone grasping for words to match the feelings of why it’s weird. “I don’t know. It just is.”
Months ago Bryan sensed a stirring for more, not sure of a shift in his calling we prayed, often settling into a consistent response of “we’re not sure what that is yet.”
“I don’t know.”
It can feel weak.
It can feel scary.
When I don’t know what’s around the bend, especially in times of waiting, that deep, scared burning sensation churns. The root? Fear. And control. And nothing dear friends, freaks me out more than being at a loss for what will happen next.
But perhaps “I don’t know” leads us to discover what we do know and desire more of.
“I feel the older I get, the more I don’t know.” Her words spilled out in humble admission and I soaked up her truth. Across the table sat one of my dearest, oldest friends and we laughed at the reality that the more we age, the less we know about life. Perhaps the less we know, the more it forces us to depend on who Jesus is in our questions, and less on ourselves.
“I don’t know” offers relatability that we don’t have to have it all together, nor do we have to have the pat answer ready to pull out at any given moment. We are, after all, human and doing the best we can in a world that wants us to have the right answer right now.
Ugh. That seems exhausting.
So for now, I’ll settle into the comfortability in what I do know, and that is I. Don’t. Always. Know.
And that’s okay.