The WHY . . . ? . . . Series

Dear Readers,
We have been asked to provide devotional thoughts on the website. I have nothing against devotionals, I read several each morning, however, I feel led to do something a bit different. It’ll be a series of articles based on the question “WHY?” WHY is one of my favorite words, partly because it can be dangerous. Sometimes when we hear “WHY?” it can feel like an attack- “WHY did you do that?” (which actually means: “HOW could you be so stupid?”) 
I want to reclaim the question “WHY” and use it as a tool to open myself up to the childlike sense of wonder God blessed all of us with- and to re-energize myself through exploration of questions without judgement. This is a work in progress and the longest journey begins with the first step. No matter how clumsy the first steps maybe, the joy is always in the journey. 

God’s peace as we journey together,

Pastor Jim

“The WHY . . . ? . . . Series”

“The Why . . .? . . . Series” is not about answers because WHY’s intention is to help us explore, expand, and to accept the courageous invitation to grow through the actual journey we call our lives.”

The first “WHY” question: “WHY . . . ASK  WHY?”

There is a knock on your door and, due to the COVID-19 Crisis the delivery person leaves the package outside your door.

You don’t remember ordering anything. It’s not your birthday, anniversary, or any holiday. WHY have you gotten a package?

You bring it inside, notice it was your regular mail carrier who had dropped it off, and you puzzle as you look at the package. WHY? No return address. No identifying marks on it of any kind. It’s addressed to you but your name and address are all that is on it- there aren’t even any stamps on it. So, you get whatever you normally use to open a package, you open it and discover the exact thing you needed is right inside the box.

What is the exact thing you need right now? How would you answer that question? Do you feel you need anything more than what you have right now?

Each day is a gift which comes to us. It doesn’t have a return address on it because we can’t return it even if we wanted to. This gift is ours and its exactly what we needed. I’m not talking about what might or might not happen today. The gift isn’t in what does or doesn’t happen- what’s important is the fact that TODAY is the exact gift we need. Yesterday is done; tomorrow hasn’t showed up yet; all we have is the gift of TODAY

WHY is this important?

In “The WHY . . . ? . . . Series” I’m going to invite us to explore, expand, and accept the courageous invitation that the package of TODAY gives us. (The question mark in the title will be filled each time I write with whatever will be the focus for that day- today the “?” is “ask why?” – which is why Today’s title is: “WHY . . . ASK WHY?”

WHY is a wonderful invitation to explore, expand, and to accept the courageous invitation to grow, but before I say more on this, we need to look at some of the ways we have asked the question “WHY?”!

When we open the gift of TODAY and ask WHY, what instrument do we use to open the gift of today with:

Is it a dagger: “WHY did I do that? WHY was I so stupid? WHY didn’t I make a better or different choice?” or a variation on those questions with the belief the box we opened held only accusations, attacks, and guilt/shame at what we did or didn’t do!Is it a scalpel used to cut away the parts which are poisonous and not helpful: “WHY would I continue to think, speak, or act this way? If it’s not helpful and nobody benefits from this, WHY continue to think, speak, or act this way? I need to make some changes and I can only change myself!”

Is it a letter or package opener: “WHY, would you look at this! How wonderful this is! How can I best use this gift of TODAY?”

The goal of “WHY” is to use it to fuel our journey and to explore what is unknown; expand our knowledge as we turn it into wisdom; and to accept the courageous invitation from God to grow in our actual life- because we’re living life on life’s terms- not trying to avoid, distract, or isolate ourselves from our lives or from other people.

WHY ask WHY? One reason is because we see life as an unopened gift given each day- even if the events of this day don’t unfold the way we want them to.

Pay attention to our “WHY’S”. Are our “WHY’S” like a dagger which hurts; a scalpel which is meant for healing; or a device which invites us to explore, expand, and to accept the courageous invitation to grow through the actual journey we call the gift of this day in our life?

God’s peace as we explore the WHY of each new day,

Pastor Jim

P.S. Please notice I didn’t write anything about trying to open another person’s package. How many times have we wondered WHY other people have or haven’t done what we think they should. That’s not for us to decide. Everyone get’s their own package called TODAY. We can only open our package and explore, expand, and grow through our lives- never through someone else’s. That’s a rule we can’t change- and we can ask WHY this rule exists and is true at another time.