It might be the most important question you ever learn to ask.
I’m not sure why more people don’t ask why? But, it is the most important question you will ever ask. It is how I am at the point in my spiritual journey. It is what I learned in theology classes. It is what I ask every day, night, morning, and afternoon.
But for some reason, people are afraid to ask why.
Maybe it is growing up. Maybe your parents got sick of answering the questions. Why? Because the stove is hot, and you shouldn’t touch it. Why? Because dinner is in a few minutes and cookies will spoil your appetite. Why? Because we’re watching a movie and you’ve made enough paper airplanes for one day…. Just me? (not having context for those makes me laugh a little on the inside) …
But there is a point where we stop asking why in situations that deserve great and giant WHYS.
The fear I believe comes from not wanting to look dumb. Or, it is a fear of the answer not being what we want or have been told our whole life. Most of us are now at a place where we are older and should know things so we don’t ask why. We shrug our shoulders, we go with the flow, we simply let things be. And so things go unchecked, organizations go uninformed, or we stay doing the same old thing, for same old things sake.
I was 20, moved away from Mom for the first time, and I lived in these apartments with my sister. She would be gone for weeks at a time and I basically lived alone. My church was literally up the road. I walked there a few times, but it was a big steep hill, so I drove a bunch as well. But, I met this guy. He lived under us in the same building, and one day after church he invited me over. He and his wife lived in a two-bedroom apartment with their two-year-old, and he started having me over. We would talk about church, we would talk about life, and he started asking me why. No matter what answer I had he always came back with why. And it dominated my thinking. I had never before been challenged, or pushed to ask why. It was so crazy to start wondering and figuring out things on my own. It was the first spark that lit a fire of wonder in me. I didn’t know it, but it began my spiritual journey, personal journey, and theological rollercoaster.
If I never started asking why, I would not have the freedom, beauty, and life of color I live in today. I wouldn’t have read the books I’ve read. I wouldn’t talk to the people I talk to. I wouldn’t listen to the podcasts I listen to, and the greatest part is how the world is now much bigger and brighter. Things make more sense. And as scary as some of the questions of why are, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
My charge to us all is to keep asking questions. Questions lead to… more questions. And more questions lead to, well, a bigger world. Where more things belong. My understanding of people, culture, and genuine curiosity of this universe has made me a better person. So I think.