“What?” not “Why?”


“What?” not “Why?”

27 January 2011 Hits:2721

At the time of writing this blog, there is an inland sea of water sweeping its way across North West Victoria.  This wall of water is causing significant damage, devastating property and ruining lives.

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, it is easy in times of disaster and tragedy to ask the question, “why?”  Over the years, I’ve discovered that the answers that people offer to the “why” question usually amount to empty, shallow clichés.  I believe there’s a better question to ask at times like these: “what?”  What can I do to help make a difference?  What is life really all about?  What can I learn from times of tragedy?

There is a great resilience in the human spirit – I believe it is God-given.  When faced by adversity there is something within us that rises to the challenge and steps out to help others.  We have seen people risk their lives in order to save others.  We’ve seen thousands of volunteers rise up to help those whose property has been flood-affected.  In the midst of loss and sadness, there are always stories of miracles and rejoicing.  Such is the human experience on planet earth!

Loss of life reminds us how brief and fragile life is. I’m not suggesting that we should be living our lives always thinking of death, but it is important that we are realistic.  It’s too easy to be caught up in the busyness and routine of life and forget that one day, sooner or later, we too will pass away.  In a world of uncertainty we can be certain of this fact, as King Solomon wrote three thousand years ago, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die …” Are you ready when your time comes?

Have you noticed that when the media report on someone having died they always refer to the “body” being found rather than the “person”?  It’s interesting that our language reflects the inward knowledge that there is a spiritual dimension to us that is missing once the person dies.  We talk about someone’s “remains” – that is, what is left after the person’s spirit has departed.  The Bible says that our body is like a tent.  It is a temporary dwelling place until we depart for our eternal home.  God has promised that everyone who places his or her faith in Jesus will have an eternal home with Him.  Have you accepted Jesus as your Saviour?

Life on earth is short.  The Bible describes it as “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”  It’s sad that many people waste their short life living so far below their potential, wasting opportunities, misusing talents, abusing relationships.  We only get one shot at living life on earth – how are you spending it?

Thinking through the answers to the “what” questions is so much more productive than constantly asking “why?”  Someday we might know why, but I have a feeling that when we get the chance to ask why various things happened – or didn’t happen – that we won’t be so fussed with finding out!

If you would like to make a donation to the Bayside Church Flood Relief Appeal please click on the following link.  All donations over $5 are Tax Deductible.  Click here.

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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