Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues? (Psalm 42:5a The Message)
The five investigative questions that start with “w” conclude with this whopper of a question.
Why tends to get a bad rap because it is often paired with despair. Why is this happening? Why is there so much pain and heartache in this world? Why can’t I stop such and such behavior? Why doesn’t he or she like me?
Why pries into our motives. Why often puts us on the defense. Why digs deeper than any of the previous questions, yet if we do a little root search of why, it takes us to what and then, you guessed it, back to who. Investigating our who-ness naturally leads to why.
Why, you may ask?
It’s in the definition. Why means for what cause, reason or purpose. My identity is linked to my purpose. Why am I here? An age old question, yet knowing my why keeps me moving forward, and gives me hope. I may never know exactly why certain things happen, but I can evaluate my own motives and motivators, with a desire to live my life authentically and with love for myself and others.
Why does not have to lead to despair, it also can be very inspirational. A funny coincidence happens when you pair why with not. Many have found the courage to take the risk to love and to live, by saying “why not?” What keeps me or you from living to our fullest design and intent? Maybe spending some time writing out the who, the what, the where, the when and the why of our existence could shed some light on our situations. It may even spark our imagination.
I can’t remember when or why I made the following collage, but it reminded me of two things. 1) Asking questions is good. 2) Writing out answers helps me to imagine.
When I imagine why, it can end up leading me to hope. The Psalmist asks why are you so down in the dumps, dear soul? And by asking the question, he gives himself the answer in the next line of the psalm:
Fix my eyes on God—
soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He’s my God. (Psalm 42:5b The Message)
What are you fixing your eyes on these days? What restores your hope?
Here’s a challenge: Make up your own list of 5 questions to ask yourself, to help you get started or get out of a rut. (If you like, share them in the comments. I would love to know what works for you, as it may help me or others, as well.)
It always encourages me, when one of you shares how these posts impact your life. Head over to Jody’s Three Way Light to see how she processed a recent collage challenge that I mentioned in this post.