Live the questions. Quit copying a script.

You know how I’ve been going on and on about my deep love for both Blue Like Jazz the book and the movie? Of course you do!

Well I want to share one of my favorite lines from the movie. It occurs within probably the first 5-10 minutes of the movie. Don’s father is a complex character who is revealed only briefly in the movie.  From the movie, I gathered when Don’s parents divorced, Don’s father (also called The Hobo in the movie) wasn’t much a part of his son’s life. The Hobo is living out of a trailer, sleeping with an intern, and has a deep affinity for jazz music. Don shares with his father his plan for going to Bible College to pursue writing. The Hobo challenges Don to further his life beyond the church boundaries:

“Go somewhere where they don’t hand you the script and tell you to copy it.”

I love this. It’s a universal truth – discover the truth for yourself. Think for yourself. Learn. Grow. Test everything.

Go somewhere where your beliefs are challenged. Not somewhere where you are given the script of dos and don’ts and you don’t think beyond them. Go somewhere where you discover your truth, your belief, your value system.

Why do you believe what you believe?

I’ve found that in the questions and the questioning and the doubts – this is where my faith grows strong.

Not from theology and what others tell me to believe. It’s a discovery for myself – beautiful and messy – and it is with God.

God comes alongside me and reveals Himself.

My faith isn’t cocky and arrogant because of this, instead, it’s alive and vulnerable and authentic.

My faith doesn’t crumble and falter because something happens outside of the context of what I’ve been taught. I can handle the ebb and flow of doubts and fears and joys because I’ve chosen not to follow a script and instead follow Jesus. My faith allows questions. My faith lives its questions. And my faith always comes back to Jesus.

Rainier Marie Rilke, a poet, says this in his book Letters to a Young Poet:

“…have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

Don’t copy the script. God made you and I too unique for simply copying a script.

Instead embrace the questions, be challenged, and live.



  1. Beautiful! Reminds me of a graduation speech – so encouraging and challenging. Hopefully we can all stay out of the box and push ourselves to learn truth.

    Wonderful! Wonderful!

  2. Love this. I am reading his book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” and it is really resonating with me. We all can CHOOSE to live a better story. Our story. Nobody elses. Great post!

    1. Thanks Tammy! Most definitely it is a choice. “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” is a perfect read – it got me through a layoff and looking for employment!

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