We could probably spend at least half of our lives searching for them.
Can you imagine what we could do with that time if we could get it back? I mean … half of your entire life. Just think about how many times you ask questions in a single week. Let’s count some of them, shall we?
Why can’t I just do what I want?
Why did she have to die?
How can I make more money?
Where will we be next year?
How am I going to make it back home?
Why does God allow this to happen?
What’s the meaning of life?
I could go on and on, but you catch my drift. Just think about how much time you spend asking these ultimately rhetorical questions. We spend so much time asking these questions and yet we know the answers will continue to elude us.
It’s as if we’re playing this game with God. We think that if we keep asking that one day while we’re stuck in traffic on the way home, God will say …
“Michael! I know you’re stuck in traffic right now, but I just want to take this moment to answer your most nagging question. The secret to life IS … (blank)!”
OR … How about this?
You meet this lovely, elderly woman on your flight to Santa Barbara. You have an absolutely fantastic conversation with this woman who wants your email address and you give it to her.
A few months later, you get an email from the executor of this woman’s will. Turns out she died and little did you know, she was a billionaire and she’s left you $10 million. However, there’s only ONE WAY that you can get your money.
You will get a visit tomorrow morning at 9 O’clock sharp from a tall, dark stranger who’ll verbally give you the access code for the wire transfer to your account. Per the woman’s will, this is the ONLY way you can receive this money. You MUST memorize the access code.
I mean, this is no joke. This is it. The answer to all of your problems is literally falling right into your lap. You just thought you were being cordial to a lovely lady, but it looks like your prayers are being answered in the most beautiful way.
So … you’re totally excited as the guy rings your doorbell the next morning. This is it. You open the door and see the guy who looks a lot like Johnny Depp. He’s wearing a trench coat and fedora. Yes, it’s a throwback, but you’re immediately convinced that he’s legit.
He looks at you and then leans toward you to whisper the code number and says …
“The access code number IS …”
And right at that moment, he has a massive heart attack and falls down dead.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Of course, you’re concerned about the guy, but what about your money? Needless to say, there’s no one around to answer THAT question. You thought your ship had come in and it was the answer to your prayers, but suddenly, it slammed into a rock and sank fast.
Isn’t that how it always works?
Have you ever noticed that when you need the answers the most, no one is ever around? And yet, just speaking for myself, whenever I know exactly what to do … that’s when everyone offers up – unsolicited mind you – an answer to my problem.
It’s like shopping in a department store. When you’re carrying merchandise that you plan to buy, sales associates come out of the woodwork, but when you’re searching for something and actually need answers, there’s not a soul around.
We spend SO much time seeking answers to things; so much time that when we think we’ve got the answers, we then get into major battles over who has the best answer. Take two perfectly good solutions to any problem and I’ll show you two people fighting over which one is best.
I sometimes wonder if God ever just stands there and says …
“Dude, I GAVE you the answer … like … ten years ago, but you STILL want to do things YOUR way!” “You know what? I’m done … I mean, like, I’m TOTALLY DONE!”
Even when we get “The Answers,” we reject them when they’re not what we want to hear.
I don’t know about you, but I’m at the point now where I’m trying to focus less on finding answers in favor of just “going with it” and seeing “where it takes me.”
This feels like so much more fun. Life feels like a greater adventure when you’re not always searching for the answers. If God wants you to know, believe me, He’ll let you know.
But here’s the real thing …
I really do think that God, in His infinite wisdom, intentionally withholds many answers because we’d likely lose our minds if we knew them. Half the time, we can’t handle the truth.
Also, doesn’t our constant search for answers really show that we don’t trust God? It proves that we don’t have much faith and that we’re relying only on ourselves to get the answers. We think that once WE find the answers, WE can rely on our own energy to do whatever WE choose to do.
Yet consider this. Isn’t it great that God doesn’t require us to have all of the answers? Our lives would be nightmares if He did. Everyday would be yet another law school exam.
I mean, just think about all of those years you spent in school writing in a frenzy to get a term paper completed or cramming the night before a big exam.
All you wanted was for your brain to retain the information long enough for you to sail through the test and get a decent grade. You needed to have the answers down pat because you knew there were a ton of questions in store.
Just think about all of the things in life for which we must have answers. At work, we’re often the authorities on a particular issue or process. At home, your kids come to you for answers - or at least the appearance of answers. When people ask you for directions, suddenly, you’re pressed to come up with an acceptable answer.
Look, here’s what I say.
If you don’t have the answers, good for you. I don’t care how competent we are or appear to be, NOBODY has all of the answers and that’s not what God requires of us.
While God often tests us, He never gives us a pop quiz. Thank God. If He wants us to know the answers to certain things, He’ll tell us. If not, then not.
Call me crazy, but I’m fine with not knowing whatever I don’t need to know. Don’t get me wrong. I’m curious about many things and I often search for answers, but I’m not going to try to move heaven and earth to get answers to everything. I am not trying to be God.
Some things should remain a mystery. Mystery is the spice of life. Isn’t it?
Often, not knowing the answers can be like a breath of fresh air. We’re not carrying the responsibility or burden of “TMI” or too much information.
Why did I even sit down and start writing this? I have no idea. It just came to me. That’s all I can tell you.
Truth be told, I’m tired of asking questions and I don’t need to know all of the answers … just enough to get me through the day and perhaps through a few rough patches.
Yet, that said, don’t count on it. I’m learning to just settle in, hunker down and go along for the ride. Nobody likes the person who walks around acting like they’ve got all of the answers anyway.
Along those lines, we now live in a world full of motivational speakers who give the appearance of having the answers. Do they truly have the answers or are they just really good at speaking and motivating? Perhaps that’s all we should require of them. They’re searching for the answers too.
Still, there’s something charming about the person who doesn’t have all of the answers. Haven’t you noticed?
You walk up and ask the person something … anything … and they look back at you, hunch their shoulders upward and say …
“Geez, I don’t know!”
Sure, this can be frustrating when you need immediate answers, but there’s also something humble and lovely about it. When people admit to not knowing something, it frees you up and frees them up. There’s no longer any need for pretense.
Suddenly, you can both be your true selves. Neither of you has the answers. You’re in this together. Ego has left the room. At some point, you just have to rely on faith.
The next time I ask someone … anyone … a question and they say they “don’t know,” do you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to look at them, smile and then ask …
“You wanna have some lunch?”