Why?

The story is told of a student in a philosophy class who amazed his professor.  During the final days of the course, many questions were asked in preparation for the final examination.  The students in the class had studied diligently through all their notes and were well prepared to answer any question that might appear on the exam.  When the day of the final exam arrived, the students entered the classroom where they found their professor sitting quietly in the corner and this message written on the board, “Take out a sheet of paper and write down your answer to this question:  Why?”  The students began writing their lengthy answers to this question while one student quickly stood with his paper, walked over and handed his exam to the professor who knew the student understood the class.  The only thing written on the student’s paper was, “Why not?”

    While this class had nothing to do with God or religion, we can learn a valuable lesson from it.  So often we end up asking God the question, “Why?”  At times, this question centers around the issues and difficulties we are facing in life, but at other times it deals with works of service that are set before us.  In regards to the latter, we often ask, “Why me?”  In Exodus 3, Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, along the west side of the wilderness near Horeb, the Mountain of God.  It was at that point that Moses witnessed something very significant.  The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire located within a bush.  As Moses looked closer, he realized the bush was not being consumed by the flame.  When he moved still closer to see this great sight, God spoke to him.  God instructed Moses to return to Egypt, face Pharaoh, and bring the children of Israel out of bondage.  But the response of Moses was, “Who am I that I should go…?” (Exodus 3:11).  

    Essentially what Moses asked God is the very question many ask today: “Why me?”  As followers of Christ we are called to care for, have compassion on, and love and serve those around us.  And as we are given opportunities to serve, it seems rather easy to ask, “Why me?”  Often we justify our feelings by thinking that someone else will take care of it.  But the reality is we are all called to serve.  

    No matter how young or old we may be, we are always called by God to serve.  It may be easy for some to think they have put their time in and now it is up to someone else.  Well, it is important to remember that we never retire from being Christians.  And if we claim to be followers of Christ, we ought to seek every opportunity to do good.  So what can we learn from the student that amazed his professor?  Maybe instead of asking “Why?  Why me?”  We should be asking “Why not?  Why not me?”  May we all rise and exclaim with Isaiah, “Here I am!  Send me.”  Why not me?  Why not you?

Keith Harris serves as the Preaching Minister at WindSong Church of Christ in Little Rock, AR. He enjoys life in Little Rock with his wonderful wife and two great kids. Keith holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Harding University, as well as a Master of Science degree in Ministry from Lubbock Christian University. He enjoys playing golf, traveling, and the Arkansas Razorbacks.

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