I walk in the early mornings; it’s a great way to step-up the rhythm of my heart and keep the joints lubricated. This Tuesday’s jaunt took me to a familiar intersection where my Mom and Dad lived for a brief time.
As I was approaching their place from a parallel road, I noticed the crepe myrtle tree-brothers. They stand side-by-side, and are taller than the house‘s roofline. But the sheer height of both trees wasn’t what caught my eye; it was rather the stark difference that one tree was (by comparison) puny and under-developed, while the other was robust, shouting “hello” with healthy branches, and showing off magnificent blooms.
Why one, and not the other? Why do two plants, placed in the same home, exposed to the same nurture and opportunities turn out so differently?
Now I know there are probably some scientific answers that would include soil conditions, root disease and bugs…but I’ll leave that for the local genius horticulturalists; I just felt sorry for the puny tree.
The question still looms large in more than just tree-talk. More than a few parents know that question turns painful when they consider two children, raised in the same home, one with magnificent results, the other tragic.
Why.....is a question with which we all grapple. And if you can answer one round, there’s always the next set of “whys” to confront.
For instance, where did the crepe myrtles come from…and all that other stuff on planet Earth, and its moon, and the Sun, and all those other planets and stars? How did the space between all that matter get here? Why are there black holes in space? Why do babies’ eyes twinkle and grab your heart like they do?
And my friend Anna’s question on Facebook™ yesterday:
I was at a stoplight this morning (in the left turn only lane). Beside me was a car with four elderly people in it. Beside that car was a young guy in a new Dodge Challenger. When the light turned, the guy floored his car, squealed his tires and moved over toward the other car as he laughed. They stopped for a moment, obviously shaken and allowing him to fly by. Why in the world does anyone think that is funny?
If you can answer that question, you can probably answer the one about Cain’s motive for killing his brother, Abel.
We are all philosophers to one degree or another, and it is the curiosity that lies within which asks that question, why!
And the plain truth is, as much as we speculate on the answers to all the “whys” rumbling-around inside our minds and hearts, some things are just unknowable.
God created it that way:
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9(NLT)
And God also has assured us that someday the answers to all the “whys” we’ve ever pondered will be ours to understand:
Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 1 John 3:2(NLT)
Me too, but I’m leaving some of my deepest “whys” to God’s keeping.