The real answer is, I don’t know.
However, in an effort to make this blog post longer, I will try to elaborate.
The short answer is – because.
The philosophical answer may be – why not?
The Biblical answer is – only God knows, or essentially, because God said so
The scientific answer is – all current evidence suggests that…
The why I am really looking at here is – Why are we here? But, this discussion/post/debate/thought can be applied to many different uses of why.
The truth is, we spend far too much time trying to figure out why, at least I know I do.
My brain drives me crazy trying to understand the why, and I spent years being depressed and ungrateful, because I could not understand the why.
So should I stop asking questions and trying to understand life? No, but I should dial it back a bit.
Life is made up of infinite possibilities and despite our desire to know, much of what we do know, barely scratches the surface.
One of my favorite quotes on the subject of knowledge, and the questing human mind, comes from H. P. Lovecraft.
“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”
It sounds a little depressing the way he states it, but his point I think is valid. We live on an island of ignorance, and the amount of knowledge we have is tiny, compared to all there is to know. There is also a danger in straying too far, because we don’t always approach knowledge or handle it, in the best way.
We all struggle to make sense of the world, and figure out our place in it, our reason for existing. I am not suggesting that we give up the pursuit of understanding, but we should be wary. We shouldn’t know everything, and we should not abandon or ignore what we already have, in order to ask why?
When the pursuit of the question pushes out our contentment and gratitude for what we already have, then it is no longer a healthy pursuit. I spent years making myself miserable because I needed to understand life, myself, my reason for existing, and when I didn’t find the answers I fell into depression.
When I became a Christian, I thought that things would instantly make more sense because I would have someone to go to for answers. It isn’t that easy, even for Christians. In fact, for a while it felt even more confusing, until I realized; through reading, listening, praying, and with a healthy dose of advise from my wife, that some things are beyond my understanding.
I still ask questions. I still want to understand, but I don’t let it take over and dominate my life. I don’t ignore what I already have, in pursuit of something I cannot attain. I think it is important to ask questions, especially as a Christian, so long as the questions are not mistaken for doubt.
So go ahead, be curious, ask why? But remember, the important things, are probably sitting right in front of you. They are sitting next to you holding your hand, or clinging to you while they fall asleep. They are staring up at you with tiny smiles, or waiting for you when you get home from work. Appreciate what you have, and say thanks to the God who gave it all to you. Don’t waste your life in pursuit of why… or you might waste away, without every really knowing the answer anyway.