The Helplessness of Asking for Reasons
I watch a TED talk of Kate Bowler. She is an award winning author from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She wrote the book “Everything Happens for a Reason: and Other Lies I’ve Loved“. The TED talk below shows her sharing her overwhelming experience with cancer and the hopelessness of raising her young son.
I resonated with her pain. At one point, a Christian asserted to her say “God has a reason why He has given you cancer.” or on my part, “Probably there might be sin in your life.” What struck me is that many Christians struggle in treating hurting people with compassion. I too, am guilty of this as a Christian. The habit of trying to explain everything.
“Everything happens for a Reason.” This quote is a desperate attempt to explain reality. It comes from the verse in Romans 8:28 which says “And everything works for good to those who love God and work according to His purpose.
Explanation and Reason did not come from Christianity. This habit started in the 18th Century during the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution. I guess Science corrected many superstitious beliefs that priests and pastors have been practicing in Christina history. As the Scientific culture was fused with Christian culture, it became a new set of foundation. As science progress, people become more educated. For example, people learn that sickness was not caused by evil spirits but by poor hygiene on an open wound.
Nevertheless, there exists an “Reasoning” style for people in dealing with what they don’t understand. Christians mask their fears with quotes like “God moves in mysterious ways.” or “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts.” For the dying, the suffering and their family, this comes like a slap on the face and a shame. The need to confirm is a person is “born again” on their funeral?
I believe Christians cannot stop “explaining” painful reality. As humans, we are all prone to interpret reality. The Old Norse imagined Thor whenever there was thunder. It is one way we can explain things we don’t understand. I have found that the more we ask the question why, the more creative our minds are in creating more “reason” for the event or experience.
I can recognize that Western Culture hinges on the question why. And although electricity, gravity and electromagnetism was discovered through the question why, some life experiences don’t need this question.
In truth, if the event turns out positive, we praise and thank God. If the event turns bad, we strive to create more explanations why. We avoid blaming God but with our strong “explenation” and “reasoning” habit, we cannot stop.
What if I told you there was a way to stop this bad habit of “Reasoning”?
In my part, it involves surrender. I have to surrender believing that everything has to be good or bad. Everything is just the way it is. It runs counter to my Christian faith where everything is about God and Jesus. How I resolved this is: If God is omnipotent, He will not feel that my choosing to see reality just the way it is as a challenge to His Lordship.
These are my random morning reflections. Follow Archian Blog Page in Facebook! Help me out.