Even much of Western Christianity today seems more concerned with How's and propositions of behavior modification than they do about the Why. What is beauty? We ask. Here are five keys to a successful marriage, We are given as an answer. It is as if no one is listening to the question being groaned by all of creation, groaned through the pinnings of our soul, our broken biochemistry, the blending of light and smog to make our glorious sunsets.
Donald Miller describes his frustrations with Western Christianity's trend towards dishing out religion and moralism instead of Salvation, Redemption, and Freedom in this excerpt from his book Through Painted Deserts:
If Christianity was something beautiful and true that explained the human story, its adherents has lost the grandness of its explanation in exchange for its validation of their how lifestyles, to such a degree that the why questions seemed to be drowning in the pool of Pavlov's dogs. And it wasn't just the church that was drowning; it was all of humanity or at least all of the West. Our skyscrapers and sports teams, our malls and our master-planned neighborhoods, our idiot politics, our sultry media promising ecstasy with every use of a specific dishwashing detergent. What does all this mean? Are we animals nesting? Are we rats in one giant cage, none of us unable to think outside of our instincts? And does faith live within these instincts always getting me to my happiness, or is it larger, explaining the why of life, the how a shallow afterthought.
I needed God to step off his self-help soapbox be willing to say something eternally significant and intelligent and meaningful, more meaningful than the parroted lines from detergent commercials. I needed God to be larger than our free market economy, larger than our two for one coupons, larger than our religious ideas.
My challenge thus to you and to myself is to start asking Why more. To stop and think about what it is you are chasing? Does it really matter? Does it eternally satisfy? After all we are all going to die, so why are you doing what you are doing? Does it even matter in the end?
I have been thinking about Why for quite some time now. I got a slew of answers to a lot of things. Still searching for some myself….but would LOVE to share with you what I have so far. Perhaps even the mysterious "meaning of life."
*Much of this was borrowed, lifted, inspired by and edited from Donald Miller and Bertrand Russell.