Most of us have had the experience of a conversation with a young child in which the question “Why?” comes from their lips. Perhaps you tried to give an answer, and then your answer was met by another “Why?” So, you answered again, only to hear another “Why?” in response. This cycle went on and on, not until the young inquisitor was satisfied, but until you ran out of ideas, and ended the interaction by saying something like “Because I said so!” Or maybe, being somewhat more secure, you honestly admitted that you don’t know the next level of answer demanded by the basic question – “Why?”

This common, simple (but actually profound) dialogue with a child illustrates in a powerful way the fact that we humans have an innate awareness that there is information “out there somewhere” that surpasses our understanding, our grasp of available knowledge. There is information about why the apple is red or green, or why the moon changes shape, or why the rain feels wet to us (but would it feel wet to a fish?) The fact that we can know things, even if we can’t know them exhaustively, points us beyond ourselves, and gives us a hint that somewhere there must be full knowledge, there must be complete understanding, some entity that must know everything about everything. And since we are personal, and there are many questions about that, this entity “out there” must be personal too.

This longing of the soul to know things, to understand and comprehend our world, our friends and family, the galaxy we inhabit – this longing is common to all human beings. Yet we are also aware that no matter how far we proceed in the search for answers to the basic questions of Who, What, Where, When, How, and of course, Why? we will will never find the full answer within the confines of the natural world around us. There must be something beyond, perhaps Someone, who knows, and who perhaps is willing to communicate Truth to us.

If there is complete knowledge, or Truth (and it is reasonable to think there is), then there must be a Source of that Truth. The Source we seek must be beyond the subjective, relativistic and entirely unsatisfying “your truth” that is spoken of by self-appointed authorities like Oprah Winfrey. There must be objective, eternal Truth that is actually universal, that encompasses all of life, the entire created order, and that is sufficient to answer the questions we have. The seeker of Truth demands something beyond ourselves, beyond our puny perspective, the kind of Truth that has the power to explain and to resolve all the issues that confront us. 

The questions that arise in our souls are in reality an invitation to seek after, to pursue the One Who is that Source, the One the Bible reveals to us as God. He is necessarily there, for the presence of the questions demands that there be an Answer somewhere. He has spoken to us, and has told us that His secrets are available to us (Psalm 25:14). His Son Jesus tells us that He Himself is the Truth (John 14:6), and that even though there are things beyond human understanding, that He has given us of His Spirit that we might know the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-12).

We are invited by the Spirit of God to seek after Him, that we might know the Truth about Him, about ourselves, and about our world. We can respond to that invitation, or, in the words of one thinker:
Yet the presence of the divine essence does not ask the question for me; it does not create for me. It provides the crucial datum of incomplete intelligibility that incites me to ask the question—but I do not have to answer this question, I do not have to seek an answer; I don’t even have to ask the question. I can behold incomplete intelligibility, and instead of pursuing its invitation, eat a bon-bon and watch a rerun on television.

My choice is to be a seeker of Truth for all my days. You are invited as well to join that journey.

Blessings, Gary Wiens

Gary Wiens, 1/27/2018