I am a big fan of that old show “The Wonder Years” It’s about life in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. That was my era, my time. I was the first black kid in the suburban neighborhood where I grew up, and that in itself brought about some challenges, but my life resembles a lot of what Kevin Arnold experiences on the show. In one episode, Kevin struggles to grasp the concept of Algebra and he forms a bond with his math teacher during the process of being tutored. I had a very similar experience the first time I took Algebra. My teacher was also the basketball coach and one of only two black teachers on the campus, he took time with me and helped me to overcome the abstract concept that was messing with my mind. Once I understood it, I never had an issue with Algebra again. I’ll never forget how much joy Mr. Stephenson had watching me get it right.
Our Society is Built on Asking the Question Why?
There’s another reason why I’m talking about math. We are a society that leans heavy on the science and math side of things. Technology is everywhere and technology is rooted in math and science, but there is a problem with this. Math and science are built on a foundation of solving the equation. You build a hypothesis and then answer the question why. Every problem has a solution that must be found, and just about every problem starts with the question why? As a society we love asking the question why? We know there is a solution and we will spend a lifetime finding the answer. Okay, so let me flip the script for a moment.
I Do Not Ask Why?
I’m in the middle of an interesting and challenging season. A door opens, I walk through it excited for the new opportunity and then it closes once I get in. This has played out over and over and over again. If I were to rely on my education and our cultural bias to use what I have been taught then I would ask the question why is this happening? But, I do not ask the question why. Why? Because life is not a mathematical equation and those who try to understand their situations by understanding the whys are doomed to live victim filled lives without ever reaching their destiny. Please follow me.
Are We Simply Mice In God’s Maze of Life?
In John 9, Jesus walks past a man who was born blind. The disciples ask him, why was this man born blind? Was it his sin or the sin of his parents? Jesus responds and says you’ve missed the whole point. You’re not even in the game. You’ve reduced everything to a why. So, when this happens you do this and when that happens you do that. He was saying your only interested in making judgments and living by rules. So, bad thing happens and it means something was done wrong. Good thing happens and it means something was done right. You’ve reduced life to us being God’s proverbial mice in His maze where He feeds us cheese to move us the direction He wants us to go. Do you really believe that is what God is trying to create? Jesus then said, “this” happened, with the emphasis on this. In other words, every situation is unique and the key is to have the kind of relationship with the Father that He can show you the meaning of each situation.
Things Don’t Happen To Us, They Happen For Us!
It’s good when we want to know God’s ways. But, asking Him why when something happens to us is rooted in a mindset of being a victim not a victor! Things don’t happen to us, they happen for us and there is a major difference between the two. When I ask why, I am responding like something has happened to me and God was helpless to do anything about it. I’m coming to blame not understand. What I am really saying is why did you do this to me? Why did you let this happen? It goes back to being a mathematical equation that we are trying to solve. What we are missing is at the root of our why is we really don’t believe God is good.
Teach Me How to Respond To New Challenges
I get it, there are times when we don’t understand the seasons and challenges we face, but, when we know that God is good, we don’t ask why, we say wow! What are you doing now? I don’t understand it, but I know this is going to be good. Lord, show me how to respond to this new challenge. Show me how to step into this new direction. Show me where you are taking me. I love your ways, I love your plans for me, I know they are far above my ideas so help me to see what you are seeing in me.
Keeping Your Heart Connected to Him Propels You Towards Your Destiny
One thing Jesus taught us is when things happen in our lives it is always for a greater purpose, and sometimes He just wants to watch how we will respond. When our hearts remain connected to him it propels us towards our destiny, asking why only reveals there is more work to be done. So, what side of that equation do you want to be on?