There is no one answer to the question “Why?” Why don’t we follow after God with all our heart, our soul, our mind and our strength? Why do we settle for lesser glories, immobilizing sins and worthless idols? My friend brought these questions up at lunch the other day, and all I could say was, "I don’t know.”
I don’t know why I often grab control of my universe away from a sovereign, omnipotent God. I don’t know why I hastily leap into things in spite of knowing a God who is not only patient, but demands patience from me. I don’t know why I flee from life—the real, abundant, joyous life talked about in books—into a slow-forming hell.
Do you know why you do?
I know you do—because we all do. We all slam the door on total devotion to God time and time again. But why? The question is certainly one worth pondering. It’s a question pondered since we were first told to seek this abundant life. It’s a question others have attempted to answer with pizzazz, wisdom and practicality.
A theologian would say the reason behind our faltering is the distorting of our psyche by sin—a distortion only changed by eternal redemption. That would be right. Our fears, our hopes, our motivations, our actions, our non-actions and our questions are all tainted by the disease of sin. And the final answer is for us to be transformed by having our minds renewed daily.
A pastor would say it’s the mystery one rung below the mystery of grace—sometimes better not to answer but to accept. That would be right as well. The more we ask ourselves why we falter, why we fail, why we do this and don’t do that, the more we conclude it’s the sinful acts that create the fatal distance, when in reality, it’s the distance itself that is the danger. God offers us the command to be pure, but He never said it was possible—on our own. He alone gives us the power to be pure.
A friend might say the question isn’t meant for one person to grapple with alone, but for the fellowship of two to wrestle with together. We are friends not just because we both follow God all the way, but because we can relate to each other in that often times, we don’t.
There are many ways to answer. And the answer we need for one time and situation might be different from the next.
That’s why God laughs, He cries, He shouts, He whispers, He walks, He runs, He writes, He listens, He lives and He dies. He does all He can think of to get at us—to get our full attention, to get at our full selves.
Sometimes He hits our hearts. Sometimes He stirs our souls. Sometimes He renews our minds. And sometimes He zaps our strength. He knows what we need when we need it. That’s pursuit—that’s knowledge of our entire selves. It’s the sign of a Creator in love with His creation.
That itself may be the answer—to think about all God has done instead of thinking of all the more we could do.
Dig Deeper: Colossians 3:1-4
Matthew Boedy is a 23-year-old journalist at The Augusta Chronicle in Aiken, S.C. He is a Young Life leader and avid questioner.
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