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  • A Musing Pastor

"I don't know." is a legitimate response.


What is the translinear coefficient of propulsionary resistance in the interconstabulary constrictor chamber of an incoming mosquito during a heat wave in August?

Thinking...... Thinking.....

"I don't know."

The fabricated nonsense in the initial sentence probably has no definitive answer....or maybe it does if the right intelligent person could decipher it. If you read the sentence and said, "I don't know." then you have answered well. It's okay to not have all the answers all the time.

For the past several weeks I have been journeying through our Sunday school classes and have been asking each person the following question, "Why do you like First church and why do you come here?" The responses have been diverse and center around the warmth of God's spirit in the church and how that spirit is portrayed in relationships.

Well, last Sunday I hit the elementary classes and asked these same questions. One little fellow who doesn't come regularly and to my knowledge had not been in Sunday school at all got really big eyes. he leaned over and said, "I don't want to be here. I want to go home." I responded, "Oh you'll like it here; Miss Bonnie is a lot of fun." I then asked him again, "Why do you like this church?" He quickly said, "I don't know!" Good answer! Last I heard, the little fellow stuck it out and enjoyed his time in Sunday school.

It is okay for this little fellow to not know what he does not know. In fact, it is quite alright for you and me to answer a question with, "I don't know." I personally like to add to my response the following, "I don't know, but I will see if I can find some answers for you." There is a compelling force that drives us to want to know all things and when our questions are not satisfied a hunger grows within. Many times I have returned to the question with an added, "I looked and still don't know the answers you seek."

When wrestling with deep seated questions about life, death, and God we often run into brick walls. Answers evade our probing and we're left with a response that sounds and seems shallow at best and frustrating at worst ------ and so we say, "I don't know." In matters dealing with God's mysterious nature, we often are pointed back toward whether we can trust God in all situations. Are we like the little fellow in Sunday school for the first time when we utter, "I don't want to be here. I want to go home."

Also, much like the little fellow, we who choose to stay close to God can realize a relationship not based upon feelings but built upon faith. Faith allows for questions to be posed toward God. Faith brings us closer to conflict and all while embracing the assurance that the same God who remains silent in response to our questions is still walking with us. If I could humbly offer some guidance here it would be for you and me to read Job chapters 40, 41, and 42. God responds to the advice of Job's three friends and to Job's questions regarding life, trials, suffering, and death.

While we swirl in unknowns, God has the authority to address any, all, or none of our queries. Because we set nothing into motion in creation and because we depend on a 'higher power' to care for us then our best response to God would sound something like, "Lord, I don't know what you are doing, but I trust you." This relationship is built upon trust which equals faith ("Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1). Ultimately, the same reason people attend First church or any church for that matter is usually based upon God's spirit that binds people together to become the 'body of Christ'.

PS: One day when believers step into the Church Triumphant, our questions will be answered or will find our questions were not as important as we thought.


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First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com