I wrote this post originally for the Weekly Evo at www.whillschurch.org.
This Sunday night we will gather our leaders together for our Winter Confab. It’s a pause for our leaders to sit around the table and be fed – physically and spiritually. It’s a chance for us to hear other God stories from those we serve alongside.
For our Winter Confab we are talking the issue of personal spiritual growth. Before we tackle the how, we are going to explore the “why” question – why grow up? Why grow spiritually? I turned to Google to help me with my quest for answers. This was the screen I got. What do you notice?
I noticed that too. Apparently, we have an infinite number of resources to tell us how but next to none that answer the why. I found one site that answered this question with “Because it fulfills the will of God.” In other words, “because I said so.”
I hate that answer. I hated it as a kid. I hate it as an adult. I don’t hate because it’s incorrect. I hate it because it’s incomplete. It’s a lazy answer. I know I’m tired and lazy as a parent when I resort to this answer with my own kids. It’s not helpful. I’m curious by nature so I need to know the why. If I don’t know the why – I’m just as likely to quit the whole thing and find something else to do. WHY is an important question.
But it’s not the most important question.
We have a rule in the English house – our kids can only ask the question WHY AFTER they have obeyed or said – “Yes, sir” or “Yes, ma’am.” Why? I’m not answering that question until I have confirmation that they have heard me and will obey me.
Obedience is more important than WHY. Sometimes by obeying the WHY is answered for them. Sometimes it’s more important to trust me than themselves. After obedience, it’s easier to answer the WHY because I now know the condition of their heart.
Before obedience, WHY is not a question. It’s an excuse. It’s a stall tactic. It’s self-importance cloaked in a question mark. It’s disobedience. Before obedience, WHY is next to impossible to talk about it because it’s not an exploration at that point, it’s an argument. A persuasion.
After obedience, WHY is an enlightened conversation of the journey. It’s a perspective change. A realization.
And that’s what we will do this coming Sunday evening. Come join us if you can.