Bec Oates | 98five blogger

This post was part of Bec’s 30 blogs in 30 days 2016 series

I sat at my desk rubbing my eyes annoyed that I had set myself this stupid 30 day challenge. I looked through my list of remaining challenge words with my daughter Aubrey, hoping I would suddenly be struck with super Christian genius.

“What should I write about, Aubrey?”

She flicked through the pages…“why”.

“Why? Why should I write about why?”

“Why is a dangerous word,” she explained.

“Why?”

“Because that’s what Adam and Eve asked. That’s why they ate the fruit because they wanted to know all the answers.”

Errrr what the?! How did she get so wise?!

I sat there gobsmacked, trying to remain cool, calm and collected. Trying not to smother her with proud mumminess, I told her to get her feet off the desk and she trotted off with her netball to shoot some hoops.

So how much is too much why?

We are taught/encouraged as kids to ask why. Explore. Discover. It’s a good question, except when a two year old asks you repeatedly while you’re trying to do your food shopping.

Why is the question of great men and women. Why is the question of the educated, the powerful, the wealthy. Inherent in our quest to ascertain why is the core belief that we are entitled to know why.

It’s the question of American physicist and television personality Julius Sumner Miller (see video below).

Why is it so?

Sometimes the why is grief filled. Why did you let him die? Why didn’t you stop it? Why didn’t you protect him?

Sometimes the why is selfish. Why do they have more than me? Why didn’t you give me what I asked for?

Sometimes the why is angry. Why did you let him hurt her? Why didn’t you protect her?

At what point does the why move from healthy inquisitiveness to poison apple?

Because I’m convinced God wants us to ask why, to explore him, to test him, to be angry at him.

But I’m also convinced he doesn’t owe us an explanation. That knowing why won’t solve our problems.

It’s the wrong question.

Who? That might be a better question.

Who are you in the midst of my grief, who are you when I am feeling selfish and resentful, who are you when I am angry at injustice?

Who are you, that you would give up your life for me, and who am I that you should love me so much.

I’m learning to tame my obsession with the why as it’s often a self-centred question, and be more interested in the who.

I’m pretty sure if God revealed himself to me as I sit at my computer trying to wrestle with all the whys flying around in my head, if he revealed himself to me in all his fullness and majesty I would choose option c):

a) Sharpen my pencil, get out my writing pad and drill him with my many whys.

b) Share my disappointment in him, that he didn’t adequately answer the whys of my life.

c) Poo my pants, fall face first onto the ground terrified, awestruck, and grateful that he would allow me into his presence, I would treasure any understanding of who he is that he would see fit to share with my pathetic whiny soul.

The apple would lose its appeal pretty quick-smart in light of the who. And while I’m fixated with the apple, I’m really truly missing the point.

Thanks Aubrey, who am I that God should give me such a beautiful daughter.

This article was originally posted on becoates.com as Why


Bec is a strikingly ordinary individual and a faulty follower of Jesus. She is best known for awkward moments, inappropriate thoughts and Australian humour. Her blogs reflect her deep commitment to discovering God and her passion for the poor. Bec has a husband, four ankle biters and a dog that matches the cushions on her couch, because that’s important. (Note: Bec’s blogs are adult-focused and not meant for children) becoates.com | Follow Bec on FacebookInstagram


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