This morning, I was holding my little one-year old granddaughter on the front porch while it was raining. She was looking so inquisitively at the rain. She was watching the rain, I was watching her, and just thinking, “What is she thinking?” She was trying to figure out all the sights and sounds in her little world and I was her observer.
I still have memories of being a small boy and trying to make sense of the world. A child’s brain runs on overload to keep track and process all the new stimuli it receives. Have you ever wondered why a small child asks so many “Why?” questions?
One evening as a young boy, I listened for hours as my father and his peers told war stories. I remember asking my mother the next day, “Why do we have wars?” I wish I could report some profound answer, but there was not one. She said something about men having disagreements that led to fighting. That is the easy surface answer, but it goes deeper.
Even as a small boy I understood what she was saying but I was puzzled why someone would kill another over a disagreement. Today, in my sixth decade, I know the answer lies somewhere in the puzzle pieces of greed, power, jealousy, pride, and hate.
Isn’t it amazing that the root causes of war are also the root causes of divorce, murder, family splits, church splits, work related problems, bipartisan government bickering, and the list goes on forever?
It is no wonder, that the first two brothers in the Bible had problems leading to murder. Those same reasons that cause war and murder emerge from a lineage of human hearts that still beat to the tune of hate. I’m like my baby granddaughter, I’m still trying to understand the rain.
When the world gets too complicated, I just go back to the simplicity of Jesus’ teaching, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. / This is the first and great commandment. / And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39 NKJV).
It’s not that complicated. We need to start where we are and treat others like we would want to be treated. Who knows? We may prevent a war or understand the rain!
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt