Questions, Questions, Questions

I don’t know what I’d do without internet search engines these days… When I'm in a hurry I generally use the ubiquitous Google, but if not I use Easyclick, which pushes a fraction of a penny towards our community project DFCI every time I use it. It's a long time since I've used Ask Jeeves, although it was the one I used most at first. A couple of weeks ago I came across an article about the 10 most unanswerable questions on Ask Jeeves… Perhaps my favourite was number three, which is “Do blondes have more fun?” Now, I ask you, who puts that sort of a question into a search engine and expects any kind of an answer… Or at least any kind of any answer which doesn’t lead you to decidedly dubious websites (and no, I haven't tried it).
But many of the questions are much more profound. Number 8 asks “What is the secret to happiness?” while 7 is “What is love?” I’d suggest that both of them are tied up with the top two questions, number 2 being “Is there a god?” and, number 1 “What is the meaning of life?”
I think it’s interesting that “what is the meaning of life” is higher up the list than “Is there a God” and perhaps, in a world where Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking and others affirm that there is no God, or at least no necessity for one, the issue of meaning becomes even more pertinent… The atheist bus campaign last year, backed heavily by Prof. Dawkins suggested that there probably wasn’t a God so we should just get on with life and enjoy ourselves… But maybe just enjoying ourselves isn’t enough of a meaning to life for some… Adverts for the current Alpha Course are also to be found emblazoned across the side of buses nationwide… and one of the posters invites us to fill in the blank in the statement "The Meaning of life is _______"
Maybe the meaning of your life is blank… but I doubt you’ll find the answer on a search engine, or the side of a bus… I’m a Methodist minister, so you’ll not be surprised to hear that I think we find our meaning in relation to the God who gave us life in the first place…
For me, that’s where all answers are ultimately to be found… We may not discover them instantly... and they probably won’t be pat answers… But I believe that God gives us minds to ask questions…
When asked what the most important command in the Jewish Law was Jesus said

"you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your mind, and with all your strength."

Mark 12:30

Here's a question for you... Did Jesus not know his scriptures? The original command in the Hebrew scriptures was:

"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your
soul and with all your strength."

Deuteronomy 6:5

But for some reason, Jesus, in Mark's account, is recorded as adding the command to love God with our minds... And often we're not encouraged to do that as Christians... we're expected to accept things unquestioningly... as if faith and questions don't go together...
But I think that God gave us minds with which to ask questions... even questions that search engines, scientists and religious specialists like me find difficult…
So keep asking…

(An adaptation of yesterday's Thought for the Day on Radio Ulster)


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