To Search For Answers In All The Wrong Places

At my age, you’d think I have all the answers. Sometimes I pretend I do (and my husband would say I THINK I do), but the older I get I find I have more questions than answers.

I’ve been searching for answers to some big questions lately. Questions like how do I help people I love realize time is short, the days are fleeting, and that “what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Here’s another one: How do I show them the futility of aligning themselves with a new “savior” who promises to make all things new (and great again)?

I know some folks who believe they’re carving a new way, making a new path, creating new solutions to old problems when what they are actually doing is spinning in the same spot and ignoring some obvious truths. I really want to help them save their energy, because all their questions and concerns can be addressed with one answer: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” James calls it “the royal law” (James 2:8). I call it the only answer.

Treat them with respect and shower them with kindness.

Bring them food and do them favors.

Welcome them with open arms.

Speak truth more than criticism.

Go out of your way to help.

Put their needs before your own.

When it comes to politics and the hard issues consuming our world, I’ve accepted that I’m a bit naive. In fact, some would call me a “pollyanna” and I might believe it. But, then I listen to what Jesus said to his followers about those who scorned him:

“…you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:9-14

I don’t have all the answers. None of us do. But we have the one who does. The end is coming. When is a question for another time. In these times, under the burden of all the pain, accusation and sin coloring our world, there’s only one right place to go searching for answers, and it’s probably right there on your shelf, under that “app” in your phone.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. ~ Hebrews 4:12

That’s my five-minute take on the one word “search”. I didn’t know what I’d say when I sat down to write and link up with Five Minute Friday, but I know what’s been on my heart, and that’s all I could give to you. I’m reading two books at the same time (I do that often) that are hitting me hard for different reasons: Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey and Once We Were Strangers by Shawn Smucker. Yancey addresses “three questions no one asks aloud” while Smucker shares “what friendship with a Syrian refugee taught me about loving my neighbor.” I’m in the middle of both books right now, but I have a strong sense that Yancey’s three questions are being answered by Smucker’s friendship. I’ll keep you posted!



  1. Loralee

    You write beautifully – whatever is the total opposite of pedantic. We are lifted up instead of stapled down.

  2. Tara

    Good stuff!

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