There is no such thing as a life without questions. No. Such. Thing. It begins as a child asking why the sky is blue and why the cat scratched me when I was only trying to pet it. It continues through adolescence asking why this girl doesn’t like me or why I can’t stay out as late as I want.
We sometimes operate with the assumption that the questions stop at a certain age. They do not. If anything, they get more pressing and — sometimes — more depressing.
We all have our tricks to keep the questions at bay, but inevitably they sneak up on you. When you least expect it you find yourself lying awake at night contemplating the mysteries of the universe:
- Where am I?
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
- What is wrong with me and this world?
- What is the solution for this mess?
These are the fundamental, existential questions that beg to be answered by all, but how do we answer them? Where do we even begin looking for answers?
Some say the Bible. I grew up in a faith tradition that maintained we would only speak where the Bible speaks and would remain silent where the Bible is silent. We didn’t actually stick to that principle; you can’t — it’s impossible — but we tried with terribly frustrating results.
The reason this was so frustrating is because the Bible doesn’t plainly answer those questions. The explanations found in the Bible are long and meandering and disjointed and scattered across the pages of a gigantic book with tiny print and onionskin pages. Unless you’ve been to seminary, it can be difficult to know which parts of the Bible address these questions.
I wish we would have been honest and humble enough to add that we would look to the Bible for answers and we would also study church history and tradition to see what wisdom we could glean from the people who came before us. We need not be afraid of philosophers and theologians and psychologists who have lived with these questions and come to some kind of understanding through prayer and study and deep reflection. Rather, we would be wise to learn from them and examine the Scriptures alongside of their conclusions.
My hope is to spend the next few months exploring these big questions. Last night I began a class with a group of college students and young adults where we opened this can of worms. I will endeavor to use this blog to further my exploration. And I’m honored to have you come along with me.
So, let me know if you think I’ve missed any of the big questions that keep you awake. And let me know if you’re interested in taking this journey with me.