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Epiphany: A Season for Unsettling Questions

On the Ninth Day of Christmas . . .

I was feeling somewhat adrift. Needing some guidance, I decided to ask myself some questions. As a long-time journal keeper, I’ve found that sometimes questions can be really helpful for getting at what’s going on. Sometimes simply articulating the questions causes movement.

So I wrote down a question. And my first response was revealing and unsettling. I wrote other things that came to mind which unpacked deeper and deeper layers of my thinking and feeling. Later in the day I was able to talk through some of these things with a good listener.

The result was freeing. I was able to move on to other tasks and see some things more clearly. The questions did their work.


A couple of weeks ago I learned about “The Calling” a documentary of seven young people becoming religious leaders. It is a film worth watching. You can order the four-hour miniseries at the PBS Shop or download it from iTunes.

The companion website is what I want to share with you tonight. On “What’s Your Calling?” you will find a host of provocative questions. You can watch short videos to see what others say, then you can consider them for yourself.

Here are a few of the questions:

What have you been committed to the longest, and why?

What does it mean to be a voice of conscience?

What’s more important: questions or answers?

Here is a quote from a response to that last question:

“I like it that a response to a fairly straight-forward question can unsettle people in some way  . . . . I think ‘unsettling’ is sort of the other side of fresh experience. If we are generally comfortable in being unsettled, we are opening ourselves to being alive in some way. . . . One way to keep learning is to do things that unsettle you, to do things you don’t know.” – Adam Davis, Co-Editor of The Civically Engaged Reader, Project on Civic Reflection

As the season of Epiphany dawns, let some of its questions draw you into new territory, into a place where you may find yourself unsettled. For there you may also find a fresh experience. And life.