When it comes to understanding our relationship with faith and religion, vulnerability is our greatest strength. It’s an exploration that requires courage, compassion, and connection—not just with others, but with ourselves.

Making theology align with real life can feel as daunting as standing at the edge of a vast, dark sea with only a small flashlight. We yearn to see what’s beyond, but the light doesn’t reach far enough. We might even feel that it’s not just overwhelming, but impossible.

Why this pressure to make the bible resonate with every facet of our lives? Have you ever felt that the search for divine wisdom becomes so rigid that it turns into a mathematical equation? The quest for a connection with God or any “capital M” mystery shouldn’t be reduced to a formula. It’s more akin to a dance—a fluid, ever-changing interaction with life’s profound questions.

When someone proclaims, “I know what God has to say about…” it’s like opening Pandora’s box. Our faith—deeply personal and often invisible—resides in the unique space of our hearts. It’s interwoven with traditions handed down from ancestors, like well-worn yet cherished family quilts. These beliefs are not solid facts, but we often want them to be. It’s a human craving, right? To be right, to feel validated. It’s as natural as longing for warmth on a cold night.

The challenge of accommodating god within our reality is like trying to embrace the entire sky. It’s an endeavor destined to falter. Our understanding of the divine might fade or even be erased by the gritty reality of life—like footsteps washed away by the tide.

Isn’t it astonishing how quickly we attribute events or experiences to the divine? Yet, how swiftly we dismiss the religious experiences of others in different faiths? It’s like gazing at the stars from our own backyard and forgetting that the same sky blankets the entire world.

“Ask the next question” is more than a strategy; it’s a way of embracing curiosity over judgment. It’s not about altering beliefs but fostering understanding, empathy, and connection.

In our quest to understand the vast complexities of faith, the divine, and life itself—we often find ourselves at crossroads filled with uncertainty and questions. This is where the courage to “ask the next question” becomes more than a mere philosophy—it becomes a way of living.

Imagine standing at the edge of an unknown forest, armed with nothing but questions. Would you turn back, or would you step forward, driven by curiosity? “Ask the next question” is like taking that courageous step into the unknown, allowing our curiosity to guide us through the wilderness of life’s greatest mysteries. It’s not about finding immediate answers or solid conclusions but embracing the journey itself.

Isn’t there something profoundly liberating about accepting that we don’t have all the answers, and that’s perfectly okay? What if, instead of seeking to prove or disprove religious doctrines or rigid beliefs, we simply opened our hearts to the questions themselves? It’s like turning the pages of a never-ending book, each page filled with new insights, thoughts, and wonderments.

“Ask the next question” is a call to vulnerability, empathy, and open-heartedness. It’s a reminder that judgment only narrows our view, while curiosity expands it. Judgment builds walls; curiosity opens doors. Judgment stifles growth; curiosity fuels it. Isn’t it true that when we replace judgment with curiosity, we become explorers rather than critics? We begin to dance with life’s mysteries rather than dissecting them.

It’s a transformative way to approach not only our spirituality but our relationships, our work, our passions, and our entire lives. “Ask the next question” encourages us to live life like an adventurous voyage, where the next question leads to the next discovery, and the journey itself becomes a treasure.

In this beautiful dance of curiosity, we find that life’s significance isn’t wrapped up in cosmic validation or theological certainties, but in the rich tapestry of human connection, empathy, love, and the never-ending pursuit of understanding. We don’t have to cling to beliefs as if they were life rafts in a stormy sea. We can swim, explore, and revel in the mystery, knowing that each question is a stepping stone towards a more wholehearted life.

And so, the heart of our existence beats not because of unshakeable faith in unseen certainties, but because of a fearless embrace of the questions that make us human. It’s a dance, a song, a celebration of curiosity.

People are important, not because of some universal importance or external validation but because life itself is a miracle. Each life is a beautiful, unique piece of artwork, and it’s up to us to live and help others live with authenticity, courage, and wholeheartedness. We don’t need cosmic validation to live lives filled with meaning, love, and significance. We are enough, just as we are.

Are you ready to ask the next question?

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.