“It is always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen. Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, but life is on a stroll. This is how God does things.” -Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz
My thoughts for the night. Human experience is like a good novel, woven through with character development and conflict. Or more logically, a good novel is like human experience. To succeed, an author must strike a chord in thousands or millions of readers. Must find a commonality that resonates. On a basic level, we are all united by conflict and questioning.
Sometimes the questioning seems horrible. Living with unresolved questions threatens to tear a person apart. Why? Or How? What if? When? Those times relate to the quote above from the book Blue Like Jazz, which I just finished reading tonight. We need answers. We need change. We need them now. If life is a novel, we’re ready to sprint to the resolution. The conflict, the limbo, is just so darn tiring. Bring on the happily ever after. But life doesn’t cater to our needs. Eventually we discover our “needs” are actually just wants. Life doesn’t always deliver, but we go on living. And eventually we do change. Answers do arrive, usually unexpectedly.
I read a theology book a month or so ago that claimed human existence is centered on curiosity. Because we are finite beings existing within limits, we will always have questions. Every answer leads to another question, takes us deeper into a mystery, fuels our curious desire to learn and grow. No one can ever have the answers to everything. That’s why know-it-alls are so darn annoying. Because, of course, they really don’t know it all.
It’s kind of a fresh perspective on human limitations and questions. Curiosity is our motivator. The questioning is not so horrible after all. What would we do if we had all the answers? We would go stagnant. There would be nothing more to look forward to. Nothing greater than ourselves and our knowledge. Some people believe that is the case now, but that seems like ignorance to me. Will our knowledge, our technology, our pursuit of something deeper and greater ever end? I don’t think so. Not until the world ends.
The quest for answers doesn’t have to fill us with emptiness, though it often does. It is an enrichment. The very longing and yearning keep us from losing all purpose and forward momentum. They might drive us nearly crazy, but that’s exactly what we need to stay passionate. And if you believe that there is something greater than all our knowledge and our existence, some ultimate source of all human striving, there is great hope in it.
I offer God as the answer, the something greater, the ultimate source that we all strive towards. So many people go through life miserable because they are banging their heads against walls striving in the wrong direction. They’re embracing all the wrong answers. I’m not claiming to be above it, because I’m not. I strive in the wrong direction all the time. Everyone does. We’re easily wooed by the wrong answers. They sure look nice. No one knows everything about God. I think a lot of people have a problem with Christianity because of Christians’ tendancy to be know-it-alls. I hope I don’t come off that way. It’s one of the wrong directions that’s very alluring. We say that God is the answer, and since we know God, we feign to know all answers to everything. It’s vanity and foolishness. Knowing God does not make you God. We’re in the striving process, on the quest of humanity alongside everyone else.
Humanity, we don’t have all the answers yet. Here’s an idea. Let’s help each other out more. Listen to each other (I think we’ve almost completely forgotten how, myself included), love each other. We need the kind of pure love that can only come through humility. And never give in to the temptation to give up on answers. Sometimes the questions are so overwhelming, we go stagnant with apathy. It’s one of my greatest downfalls.
As an afterthought: I get obsessed with my blog stats sometimes and try to think what kind of posts people will want to read. But I don’t mind much in the end, because I really want this blog to be whatever I want it to be. Isn’t that the beauty of the Internet? Enough room for everyone to have a mouthpiece. If you happen to read it, all the better. Leave a comment.