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  • Melinda K. Bowens

So, what if I...stopped asking why?

As you can imagine, I was a very thought-full child. No, I didn’t misspell thoughtful. I truly meant I was a thought-full child, I was a mouth-full child and a mind-full child. I was generally full of all those things that consistently questioned everything. I needed answers from my teachers, my Girl Scout leader (hey Troop #49), my mom, and even my babysitter that only lasted a few weeks.

Now, there’s a reason my babysitter only lasted about as long as the shelf life of bread. However, her tenure was mostly short lived because I was demanding answers that I couldn’t receive, so I negotiated a trade from her services. I was 8.


Picture it. Alabama. 1996. *Sophia Petrillo voice*

My babysitter watched several children in her home after school was released each day. For whatever reason, she owned a pet rooster. Please don’t ask me how a rooster can be a pet. I just know the rooster lived at her home (well, outside) and didn’t leave, so that equated to a pet in my mind. And every day, the other children would go outside and run from the rooster until they were tired. I, on the other hand, would stay inside and watch Judge Judy because it seemed like a better use of my energy. I was a rather old-spirited kid, but that really surprises no one.

However, for weeks I would watch the other children run from this rooster every single day. Always yelling, always pretending to be scared, and the same results every day. But one day I decided that maybe it was fun and I just didn’t know because I never tried playing with the other kids. So, I went outside and began to run in circles from the rooster, waiting for the fun to kick in.

The fun did not kick in.


As we were running for what seemed like days, but couldn’t have been long than 30 minutes, we all piled into two wooden lawn chairs to stay “safe” from the rooster. While 10 sweaty, yelling children sat on top of each other in the Alabama heat and humidity, I had a thought that I often have these days as well. “This is stupid. It doesn’t make sense and I don’t have to do this.” In a genius moment, I thought I could convince everyone else that running from the questionable rooster was stupid and that we would all be better served inside with Judge Judy and snacks.

While I was giving the people (kids) my best elementary-school Johnny Cochran performance, they were a little less than moved by my impassioned words. Nevertheless, I called my mom and requested she come collect me because I couldn’t be there anymore…ever. Because it truly bothered me that no one could tell my why that “game” was fun. So, I felt vindicated in thinking it was all stupid. (I clearly needed to chill out as a third grader)


Why is this rather long childhood trip down memory lane important? Because being a child that constantly needed answers didn’t end, I just evolved into an adult that constantly needed answers. And I’m not the only person trapped in the cycle of “why.” So many times, we are waiting on the answers to “why” to justify whether or not we’re going to be fully engaged with life. We’re waiting on something or someone to convince us that a step is all worth it.

For some reason, we like to think if we knew all the details of everything coming, we would be more inclined to participate without hesitation. Since we’re all friends now, can I tell you something??? Y’all! That. Ain’t. True. #IssaFib! We would all do the same thing if we had all of life’s details at once…we would hide. Because knowing our entire story from beginning to end would be too much to process.

Knowing all the answers to “why” may give us a fleeting sense of security, but it also strips us of enjoying our present moments.


Question of the Day:

Why do you continue to ask “why?”

Encouraging Verses:

To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.

Hebrews 11:1 GNT

For we walk by faith, not by sight

2 Corinthians 5:7 HCSB

Jesus answered, "You don't really know what I am doing, but later you will understand."

John 13:7 CEV

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