Have you ever thought about the power of the question “why?” No wonder toddlers liberally shake it over every possible situation they encounter.
Why can Grandmother take out her teeth?
Why does that man ride in a wheelchair?
Why can’t I have cookies for breakfast?
Why does our grass turn brown in the winter?
Why do birds fly?
Why is that boy’s hair long like a girl?
Often we wish for a mute button when they throw out comments in public places like, “Why are your legs shaking when you are squatting over that potty?”
But they have it right. The keys to understanding the world around us are the answers to the question why.
The right answer to why can repair a marriage, release a prisoner, soothe hurt feelings and save a life.
So many people walk around with chips on their shoulders and their defense walls up, because they don’t take the time to learn the answers to that all-important question. Because understanding that shoots straight to the heart of the matter.
Let’s talk about a situation I’m sure you’ve all experienced. You are walking in the mall/grocery store/church, and you see an acquaintance in the distance. You guys are Facebook friends. You know her dad just had surgery, and her son left for college. You know she accidentally wore her slippers out shopping last week. You know her. You are walking towards each other, but you keep your eyes down to avoid that awkward waving from a long distance away that continues a little too long as you wait to get closer.
You are waiting for just the right moment to look up and make eye contact. You’ll ask how her son is doing and laugh about the slippers. When you get within chatting distance, you raise your eyes towards her, but she looks straight ahead and walks right by you.
Ever happened to you?
And then you wonder why you are “friends” on Facebook if you don’t even speak in real life.
Here is where that question comes into play. Why?
You can be mad and act accordingly towards this friend, or you can consider why she walked right past you.
It could be:
-your friend was so worried you wouldn’t recognize her, she looked straight the entire time to avoid the rejection of not being known. She never saw you make eye contact.
-your friend just received some bad news about a family member. She was lost in thought.
-your friend is bad with names and remembered your face but not your name and was embarrassed.
Are you starting to see where I’m going? Knowing the “why” changes everything. For the teacher, knowing why a student is acting out helps her to understand how to best meet his or her needs. For the spouse, knowing why your mate is in a bad mood may help you to be more forgiving and not take things so personal. For the parent, knowing why your child is pitching a fit will help you to diffuse the situation.
“Why” is the motivation behind behavior – and that motivation is directly connected to the heart. It’s how God sees the world. I often pray that God would help me to see things the way He does. Guess what He revealed? He is always considering the “why” of the matter.
“Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 HCSB
You see, that one little question is what will save this world.
Why did God send His only Son to die on the cross?
Why? Because He loves you and me that much.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.“ John 3:16 NIV
Want to live a happier life? Want to get along more with people? Want to have a better marriage? Want to have eternal life?
Start asking the important question. Just one.