I think I’ve finally decided, “There are no answers to the big questions of life.”
That’s right. There are only the questions themselves. Peace comes, not because you’ve finally found the answers, but because you’ve finally begun to ask the questions.
When I was young, I thought it cool to drive around in my 1964 Ford Mustang with its bumper that wore a sticker unequivocally declaring to all the world, “Jesus is the Answer!” I preached that to everyone, and with sincerity, mistakenly thinking I was doing my duty as a serious follower of Christ.
The real truth is, however, all I was really doing was protecting myself from the inner fear I associated with asking questions. Hard ones. Questions I did not want to ask and many deeply devout religious people do not wish to ask still.
For example, religious people are always trying to prove the existence of God. But you can no more prove God exists than you can prove life exists on other planets. It simply cannot be done. And yet, people run around thinking they can, proclaiming they have, and pointing to something they call “the Intelligent Design” argument – a nice notion for people who have decided already that God exists.
Here’s what I suspect. The real reason people try to prove God exists is not because they know she does but because they’re secretly afraid she doesn’t.
Remember this. There is no fear in asking questions. There is only fear in avoiding them. When you step beyond the mistaken belief that questioning is wrong or a dead-end street or whatever the fear may be that you feel you will experience in asking questions, I suspect instead you will discover a “peace that passes all understanding,” as Saint Paul framed it.
When you know this peace – borne of asking life’s hard questions – you make the wonderful discovery there is no need to prove anything. You have found the Question buried like a treasure in the Ground of Being itself, as Paul Tillich described it.
This is the secret to happiness.