One of these things is our desire for answers. Human beings hate uncertainty. Very few of us are happy with things being “up in the air.” We want answers and we want them now; if the answer is easy, short and/or simple, even better. It doesn’t matter whether the question is about arithmetic or ethics we want an answer . . . now. This isn’t all that bad when we are talking about adding and subtracting, even multiplication and division are pretty simple until you get into decimals and imaginary numbers and all that other stuff that left me behind in math classes. But what is the short and sweet answer to an ethical problem? What is the simple answer to a young person’s “Which of the many options for career should I pursue?” The questions that we really want answered don’t have short and sweet answers, or at least very seldom.
We are desperate to have simple answers to even the most complex questions. It is all too easy for us to rail against politicians who simplify complicated issues but the public rarely want in-depth, nuanced answers or positions. We tend to want “Group A is bad; Group B is good” completely ignoring the huge range of opinion and stance in either group.
If we want simple answers to our most pressing questions is it any surprise we want them from God too?
This Sunday we looked at bits from two of the anonymous books in the Bible, which coincidentally are two of my favourites, Job and Hebrews. Give them a listen and see what you think of what I suggest is the way forward when it comes to questions that are difficult or impossible to answer.