Our lives are filled with events that happen one after another. Some are big. Some are small. Some jump out and grab our attention while others go by almost unnoticed.
We ask the question “why” about many of the events in our lives. We ask so we can understand the reason for something happening. There are times we pause after happy moments to feel thankful and blessed and ask why we might deserve such fortunate circumstances. But more often than not, we ask the question why after something happens that we perceive as negative.
It usually happens after bad news. We yearn to know the purpose of a trial that has dropped into our lives seemingly from thin air, catching us off-guard and rattling the level road we’d been traveling. It’s sensible to wonder. It’s natural to question.
By asking why, we strive to determine what we may have done to cause a negative thing to happen. We inquire to know if there is a cause that precedes the effect. Questioning can lead to answers and understanding, and then to a productive outcome when we apply those answers and learn from them in the future. Sometimes there is indeed something we’ve done to substantiate the consequences we are dealing with.
But other times, there is nothing to tie the present to the past. After we question ourselves and come up with no answers for a purpose of the trial we are going through, we raise the question up a level of authority hoping to find an answer there. How can our pain be justified without a cause or purpose? We want to make sense of the pain we are feeling. We reason there will be healing in the hurting if we know it is a means to an end….if not for ourselves, then for someone we love or even for humankind as a whole. It’s a real dilemma to ask soul-searching questions and feel there is nothing but silence for answers. We want concrete reasons for our challenges. And we wonder why, if we have done nothing wrong, are wrong things happening to us.
Over the years, I have collected a number of stories, poems and other writings that have helped me identify answers to the “whys” of my life or at least come to terms with not knowing until later. My next posts will include the things that have helped me. If you are struggling with the question “why?”, I hope the posts that follow will help you too.