I’ve often asked myself why there isn’t some kind of mandatory training and examination before someone becomes a parent. For driving, practicing medicine, teaching, selling property, and a great many other occupations there are required qualifications, and yet for bringing another person into the world and training them to be a valuable addition to the human race (which is no small task) you literally learn on the job.
One of the aspects of parenting that I find myself least prepared for are the random questions I get asked by my kids on a regular basis. Every day my children are being increasingly more aware of the world around them. This awareness has lead to questions on a dizzying variety of topics and I, as mom, seem to have been marked as the go-to-person for the required answers.
In my house we’ve moved passed the proverbial ‘Why?’ and the questions now require a bit more thought. Why is it nighttime in New Zealand when we’re eating breakfast? Why is the sky blue? Why do we get sick? How come I can see the moon during the day? Why do I hate fish but love tuna?
To all these and a fair few others I have managed to sketch together simple, and mostly accurate, answers that satisfy young, inquiring minds. But every now and then a question is posed – for example: how do cellphones work, exactly? – which is beyond my knowledge and I have to answer “I don’t know”.
There is a limit
Initially my “I don’t know” response was always met with disbelief and anger, as though I was keeping some wonderful truth from my children on purpose. My children have had to learn that while they may think I’m omniscient, I have more than a few limitations, but that it’s more than acceptable to have questions and have to seek the answers rather than know everything in an instant.
All my ducks in a row
It’s nice to begin a process, or embark on a journey knowing everything there is to know at the beginning. Eyes wide open, all your ducks in a row, no surprises or unanswered questions; but life isn’t always so clear and organised.
I’ve been a Christian for many years. I believe there is a God and I believe that Jesus is his son and it’s through Jesus that we can have a relationship with Him. Do I understand all the deep theological aspects of my faith? No. There are things about God and our relationship with Him that I may never get my head around. The Bible says that God thinks differently than we do and He works in ways that we won’t always understand but just because I have questions doesn’t make my faith invalid or lesser in any way.
On a journey of discovery
I use electricity every day. Without it my life would look vastly different than it currently does but honestly, I don’t know exactly how it works, how it’s made or how to harness it. The good news is that my limited understanding doesn’t mean that the information isn’t out there and it doesn’t stop me from benefiting from its ability to make life easier and seeing it work through things around me. My faith in God is similar.
I’m on a journey of discovery about the workings of my faith and each day there is more to explore and learn and discover. Having questions about my faith doesn’t stop me from enjoying a relationship with God within my current understanding, they just mean I’m on a journey. I can still benefit from His presence in my life and even if I don’t understand everything about God I can certainly see how He affects my circumstances and situation without knowing exactly how it all hangs together.