Why?

So this is the third post that attempts complete this thought thread. 

A very good friend has been consumed by God thoughts nearly all his life. The nice thing is that at times he is focused on his thoughts about God, then he shifts to thoughts from God.

So, does God think? Well, God is alive, so God thinks! Almost a guarantee that we can hardly fathom His thoughts. 

What does that mean for us? I’ve already suggested that once our basic thoughts are structured, that free thought expands and creates more room for free thought. With enough free thought we move from “what” thoughts to “why” thoughts. 

Fortunately for us, we have captured hundreds if not thousands of our attempts to know “why” to various things. 

We want meaning to the things we think about. We witness that each year, just before the snow, there is fruit hanging low in the trees. We can just accept the witness, or we can dig deeper with “why” to discover the growing cycles, the fertilization, the flowering stage, the fruit bulb below the flower, and finally the Harvest. 

When we ask “Why?”, we don’t naturally say “it doesn’t matter, or even “I don’t know, and I can’t know”. We actually muddle ahead and seize on the best possible explanation. 

We assume that we are the first living creatures to consider “why”. The question has generated tales of the world sitting on the back of a turtle as he wanders through the cosmos, to the world being under the authority of a group of gods that are assigned to issues of love, war, planting, seasons, and even death.

The question of “why” does not leave the option of “I don’t know”. We must dig deeper, even if we land on a turtle. 

When “what?” turns to “why?” we generally propose an idea that makes sense to us. We observe a drought (what?), and then we make a connection to reaction.

When a friend injures or insults you, that friend suffers your rejection. You no longer offer him a refreshing drink, you no longer respond to his requests. The friend is shunned.

So we see the drought and we connect the dots. We have angered the god of the harvest, or the god of rain, or perhaps even both!!

So we bring gifts to change their minds. We offer prayers of repentance. Yet we still know that God’s thinking and God’s timing is not like our own. We presume that God understands the difference, so we continue to pray. 

Is it too much of an assumption that most of the “why?” lead to religious ideas? When stumped, why don’t we simply say we don’t know, why do we flee to the spiritual. 

Apparently it is built into our DNA.

The best guess today is that 2/3s of the world are religious. The hard core atheists have numbered anywhere from 2% to 20% of the world’s population, and the balance is either undecided or agnostic.

What is true is that some cultures have demanded faith as a condition of citizenship. Even so, I think the percentage ratios have been fairly steady through the ages, with many folks declaring faith in public, then denying it at home.

2/3s of living humans respond to the question of “why?” with a basis built in faith. History tells us that various systems have been selected. There are high school and college courses in Contemporary Religions that detail the differences.

It’s like we agree on the need, but what manual do we choose to follow? For a time it was a Pantheon of gods that provided guidance, then that was replaced with four Gospels and the Son of Man, the Messiah. It seems to be easier to attract new believers from previous belief systems. 

This is where I stand. I believe God created us all. I believe He has been patiently guiding us, gifting us, with abilities to partially see the Plan for our lives. 

We use our logic, our linear thinking to take us so far, then we use or abstract thinking to take a leap of faith, finding that God catches us with outstretched arms. 

The “why?” Is now satisfied. 

The issue before us now is “What next?”

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
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