Life is pretty weird.
That has to be the understatement of the year. But it's true. We live a strange, complicated and confusing reality of humanity and life. There is no simple way to understand it but we can't function if we don't try and make some sense of the world around and within us.
The problem comes when we don't have any answers.
My siblings and I have frequently pondered the weirdness of life. I don't think we've ever come up with good ideas to answer the question-mark it brings up.
Inside I've got a gnawing, gaping "Why?" Why am I alive? Why is life so complicated? Why do flowers bloom and trees blossom? Why?
Why is not the only question I have either, though it is the main one. I use other words too. What does [this] or [that] mean? How come these things have happened? When will the difficulty end? Will I have to fight forever? Can I have a nap now?
The intricacy of life seems to require this mental gymnastics of question-making but it is hard work and exhausting.
A happy heart
When I talked with my sister the other day about this she was quite interested.
I described the way questions appear to haunt my life, circling whirlpools in my mind, strong, moving; drawing everything into the deep beneath.
Her reply was she'd never felt that way. My sister's mind is taken up with song-singing. She very frequently simply hums hymns to God.
Can you imagine! Singing!
It's an amazing way of processing the world. Her husband said it's no wonder she smiles so much and I agree. But even so we've marvelled at the strangeness of life together.
She isn't without questions wanting answers despite the melodies in her heart. She wants to know how to be a good wife and mother and follow God among other things.
My second sister has so many feelings that it's often hard to figure out where they really come from. "I don't like anyone over the age of 30—how come?"
It takes a good amount of talking to even start untangling the knots but there are still so many unanswered things inside. Sometimes the things she feels can't ever be explained in words or logic either. She often draws them instead. People with dark hair, a heart in a hand, a tree rising from the ground, someone walking away.
In contrast, my brother isn't swayed overly by emotion. His character is kind and constant. But he's 18 and facing from every direction a bombardment of questions about what he plans to do with his life.
Will he study? Should he get a job? Is it better to stay at home—or board or flat somewhere else? Wouldn't it be good to look after Dad? How can he make the best decision?
The future is looming large and who knows what it might bring?
None of us have any answers. In all our thinking, questioning and debating together and apart we've never come up with any good ideas ourselves.
When we turn on the radio or TV (if we have one) or go online or talk to friends and family or simply think some more, the question-mark of life still seems so unanswerable.
What is its meaning? Where do we go from here? How should we live? It's hard to know what to do when there seems to be no answers.
Look up instead
When we look to ourselves and search our own hearts and stretch our minds life will always be this way, uncertain and unanswerable, because we love ourselves to much and don't look up. We live like goldfish in a dark tank—never seeing outside for lack of light and unable to grasp what is above and beyond.
But if we look up, if we raise faithful eyes to see that our world was lovingly made by a loving creator and mercifully rescued from its self-made imprisonment by that same God, then we will find enough answers to help us move forward.
God made this world, people, to bring Himself glory. He made us to enjoy Him forever. Though we are naturally stuck in a darkness of our own making, Jesus came as the Light to set us free.
This is what we can do when we have no answers; no matter how we process the world, no matter what questions we ask.
Irenie How is young yet, by the grace of God, was saved while she was running away from Him. God showed her that He is the Lord and she wants you to know this too. After becoming a Christian she finished studying to be a graphic designer. As this she works in Christchurch, New Zealand. Check out some of her work on Behance and drop her a line; she loves chatting with new people.
Irenie How's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/irenie-how.html