Why Not What.

Two simple little words that can ask a question with a loaded answer. Similar to the famous question “To be or not to be?” asked by Hamlet, it’s the REASON we do what we do. In the past couple years I began to question everything that I knew and believed was true. I was in search for truth and began to ask myself a simple question; why? I fully knew “what” Christians were to do, I even knew the textbook answer as to “why” we did what we did. I needed an experience for myself apart from textbook explanations.

I was a devout religious person from the moment I decided to recommit my life to Christ in 1999. I went to Church diligently and served with everything within me. I did everything with excellence. I would never miss a service and would make sure that everyone knew how important church attendance was by refusing to go to any events that were planned during a church service. I was taking a stand. I quickly enrolled in a Bible College to gain knowledge about God.

Each service I would arrive early and be one of the last to leave. I would make sure to properly divide my paycheque and tithe so I didn’t “rob God”. I sang hard, danced hard, clapped hard and did everything as best as I could. I would hold my hands high for as long as I could, even after they got tired and my muscles burned.

During the message I took detailed notes and always had my Bible with me. I responded to everything the Pastor said and hung on his every word. I went up for prayer after every message to be ministered to whether I needed it or not. I was a good husband and father and did what was right. I never stole, lied or cheated. I had a good conscience and made sure that unforgiveness was not in my heart. I did everything “right” and had become trusted among the leaders. I was a great minion, I loved the image and concept of God… but my heart was sick.

Then one day, it all changed.

It all began when I decided to question everything that I did in my life. Up until that point I was afraid to think for myself and ask questions, lest I be led astray. I had only ever done what was expected of me and Christians in general. I followed all the rules of Christianity. I knew how to be a good Christian.

I had lived my life as a ‘what’ not a ‘why’.

Though I had a few memorable encounters with God through my lifetime, I was not experiencing the freedom that the people in the Bible did. I knew the “what” very well, but it did nothing for me. I knew “what” a good Christian was supposed to do and everything looked good on the outside.

I focussed on the “what”. It consumed my Christian life. Doing the “what” left me with an emptiness on the inside and a constant weight of never being “good enough”. I always tried to prove myself with outward actions to friends, leaders, pastors and worse yet, God. Then somewhere along the way my journey began. I found the “why”… I found Jesus… or should I say, He found me. I felt God say, “Love Me first.”

He opened my eyes to my poisoned heart. I broke. How great a love that He poured out for me! What an amazing grace that I tried to earn. It’s free! I’m free!! It all makes sense finally. I am only here because of my Jesus. He’s so GOOD and tears well up in my eyes everytime I think of Him. His ways are so awesome. He is the “why” I live and breathe and move. He is the “why” I love and give. He is the “why” I am filled with hope and joy. JESUS IS THE WHY. He is the only reason we live and follow. Any other reason is human effort and pointless. I can only ever be considered a true follower of Jesus when He remains the reason why.