Most enlightened people agree that asking questions is not a bad thing. Questions enable us to think more deeply and discover new things. I ask a lot of them. Some of them are useful. Then there are the questions I address to God in moments of frustration or angst: "Why is this happening?" "Why did I not figure this out sooner?" "What is wrong with me?!" The tone of these questions is usually reminiscent of the main character in one of my favorite books, Anne of Green Gables, in her melodramatic moments where she sometimes says things like, "This is the most tragical thing that has ever happened to me" [by the way, is "tragical" really a word?] or "I am in the depths of despair!"
Those questions borne of exasperation and uttered in anguish may not be so useful. This is partly because we ask them from the standpoint of a limited mortal. "Mortal existence is an enigma. Every day is a mystery," says Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health (p. 70). Thankfully we are not subject to a perpetual curse of inexplicable mortality though. The next sentence offers great hope: "The testimony of the corporeal senses cannot inform us what is real and what is delusive, but the revelations of Christian Science unlock the treasures of Truth." Christian Science offers us the tools to look beyond the mystery of mortal existence and find satisfaction in learning more about how God created us and cares for us.
When we have those moments where the mystery seems all too convincing though, there is comfort in knowing that God is never disturbed or put off by our anxious or pitiful yearnings. In one of those moments that recently came my way, I was lying on a couch asking God why this or why that, fretting over things that had happened in the past and obsessing over what may or may not happen in the future. I opened my Bible to whatever it would open to, and my eye fell on a familiar passage in Ecclesiastes (3:14, 15). When I looked up a few other translations of the verses, I found something in The Message interpretation that made me smile and brought me peace:
My questions were answered by an assurance that I didn't need to ask questions. "God's done it and that's it". No need to be concerned for the past or future because what God does (which is always good) is done right now and was done then and will be done. That message brings a silence to anxiety ridden questioning. It's a silence well described in a phrase from a hymn: "hushed in the grandeur of a heart's awakening". The words of the whole hymn are so sweet and comforting. Here it is. As Anne of Green Gables once said when she held a bunch of just-picked violets up to her mother's face, "Smell them, Marilla - drink them in." If we have anxious questions to bring to God, there is no condemnation for our asking them. God will love us all the same. But perhaps we could consider pausing first for a moment and drinking in these words (hymn 149 in the Christian Science Hymnal, words by Susan F. Campbell):