Monday, March 10, 2014

Seeking Answers to Life's Great Questions

Blue question mark
(Salazar210 at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons)

"The unexamined life is not worth living," declared Socrates. And most people do spend at least a little time pondering life's great questions.  "What is my purpose in life?" "What is true love?" You know. Those questions.

The Thinker, Auguste Rodin
(By Karora (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

I recently read Lorna Landvik's Welcome to the Great Mysterious. Geneva, a Broadway diva, returns home to Minnesota to take care of her thirteen-year-old nephew with Down Syndrome while her sister and brother-in-law take an overseas vacation. In her sister's house, she makes a great find--a box containing The Great Mysterious. Now, it's not too much of a spoiler to tell you what the great mysterious is. It is a scrapbook created by Geneva and her sister when they were kids at their family cabin. Written out of boredom, it bore precious wisdom as they returned to it years later.

(By La Melodie,

In the Christian calendar, it's Lent, the time before Easter set aside for self-examination. Maybe it's time to create your own Great Mysterious with a group of friends or family, especially in a reunion or retreat setting. On one page, write one of life's big questions. Glue a pocket on that page and put some blank strips of paper in it. Or leave blank slips of paper and a pen near the scrapbook. Then as people wander by, they see the question and write their answer on the paper, and put it in the pocket. Later, around a campfire or coffee table, read the answers and see where the discussion takes you.

(By Brett Jordan,,

What questions would you ask? Whose answers would mean the most to you?