When we get to that place in our life–the place of intense suffering, we begin to ask different questions. We live day to day in the sense of being in survival mode–we take one day at a time and feel accomplishment at having survived it. But in another way, we are looking beyond the business of our day to day lives. We aren’t asking, “what am I making for dinner?” and “how can I coordinate getting two kids to practice tonight?”
We are asking, “Why is this happening? What does God want from me? How will my life change now?”
And even bigger questions, “What is the point of suffering? What is the point of life? What matters most?”
But its not the asking that moves us and changes us. It’s learning the answers. Well, not so much learning the answers, but accepting them.
For example, I wish the answer to the question, “why are we here?” was to be happy. But that’s not the answer. The answer is to learn to love God or as the old Baltimore Catechism says, “to know, love and serve God in this life so I can be happy with Him forever in the next life.” What that means is this life is all about perfecting our love for God and well . . . . chances are that’s not going to happen by us being happy all the time. I’m going to point out again–I’m not saying God doesn’t want us to be happy but what He wants more is for us to be in Heaven with Him.
Now some questions are too big for us to understand on earth–like, “Why is this happening?” If we are lucky we may get a glimpse of that someday. But we may not. And we have to accept that too.
But its just something about asking that moves us from the mundane . . .makes us remember in a more than casual way that there is more to this life. It makes us want to know what that is. It makes us remember that God is there. And that we need Him.
We need Him because we need answers. And only He has them. And when we begin to see life as more than our day to day busyness, we remember what we are here for.
Heaven. And remembering that is another step on our path to sainthood.