Questions: the mark of human nature. We want to know why things happen and how things work. We want to predict the future and explain the past. Google provides a world of information at our fingertips. Psychology gives the brain a way to understand itself. Technology does what was inconceivable but minutes ago.
We seek to control our experiences and emotions through intellect, to minimize discomfort and enhance performance, so we must know all. Yet no matter how much we strain to comprehend, to rationalize, to scientifically prove our understanding of everything, there remains the incomprehensible, the irrational and the questions left unanswered.
As we continue to probe and uncover, one question left unanswered is “Why?”
Mystery: the best word I can find to name God. The mystery that is the “why” behind the miniscule language of the four nucleic acids in DNA defining our physical existence, the communal relationship between humans and trees in mutual respiration and the massive reality that this planet just happens to exist in the perfect location in the realm of the universe to support life.
I am amazed by this mystery, this active force of life, this unexplainable process that drives all things to persist, to exist, to thrive in an intricate balance of cell formations, ecosystems, communities and galaxies.
It is only a piece of this greater mystery that is revealed to us during Advent. This is a revelation of joy, that the great Mystery continues to surprise us; of grace, that the process of life is forgiving, and of delight, that divine wisdom is made manifest in babies and sheep and dirty barns.
In this season we are given a chance to pause, and instead of asking why, to sit in silence, to light candles in reverence and sing in celebration of the Mystery in it all.