Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Out of The Mouths

This afternoon I was looking after 8 year old Catriona when she suddenly looked up and asked "Graham. Why are we alive?"   I'm not equipped to cope with questions like that.  Wendy is an Atheist so I'm not sure the standard answer would be approved of.  I suggested that it wasn't easy to answer and suggested "Because we are."  She considered that patently inadequate.  I told her that many people believed that we are because God made us so.  She considered that and said "But that doesn't explain why we are?"  How true.  Quite a reasoned discussion ensued which left both she and I at a loss.  After all I haven't a clue why we are.

The Disney Channel eventually rescued me. Either that or I can even bore an 8 year old into submission. All in all it was an interesting afternoon.
I fared better as a cooker of dinner!

Whilst we were having it she asked what I would wish for if I were allowed one wish..  Now I take these things too seriously and I have absolutely no idea what my wish would be.  So I said so.  Not the right answer!  "Why didn't you just wish for unlimited wishes?" was the reply.  Yes.  Well.  Why didn't I think of that?

And if I was allowed three wishes?  I took too long. "I would wish for The House and The Cottage to have two storeys.  Then I would wish that the stairs were escalators.  Wouldn't that be awesome?"  I was so dumbfounded that I can't for the life of me recall what the third wish was - if, indeed, there was one.

It's interesting being a grandpa albeit a surrogate one.


  1. Well, Graham - we were made for companionship, to be loved by our Creator and to love Him in return. That would have been my answer - but I didn't realize that Wendy was an Atheist. Still, it wouldn't have changed my answer but I can do that, I'm not the grandpa ;)

    At this age, they do persist with answer that challenge us, don't they? The simple answers aren't quite so easily accepted any longer - but even in those questions from your eight year old granddaughter, Graham - I do think that God was questioning you there.

    Search your heart and find the balance of where your answer lay with the question. I do think that your are beginning to rise more than fall on the balance :)

    Love to you.

  2. that would have been really funny to have witnessed.

  3. Ooh, I do love a good philosophical discussion!

  4. Catriona is another bright light in the starry skies of childhood! ;^)

    I believe that we are all here for a special purpose. Some of us are encouragers. Some enlighteners, teachers, examples, leaders, followers....
    Although, even at my age, I am still on more of a search than Heather is, (Oh, it would be so nice to be so clear!!!) I feel that the Universe cries out with recognition that there is a Creator. There is too much order, beauty, and synchronicity for it to be otherwise. (And yes, there is much chaos, ugliness, and the unexplained, as well...but that creates the balance and the contrast for us to have something to compare...) Just as if it were sunshine and roses all of the time...we would not understand and appreciate the light when it comes....
    I have been raised in a very traditional Christian family, but I believe that many ideas are worth re-examining. That is where I am. I believe in God...but I believe that it is Father/Mother/God/Universe... people have slapped labels on that are too narrow. How can man describe an omniscient, omnipresent spirit? Man does not do this so well, but nature does. Society for ages and ages has portrayed God as patriarchal, but left out the obvious matriarchal qualities of a God who was brilliant enough to create women, too. ;^)
    I receive e-mails every day from a site that helps me find the balance. They are from: theuniverse@tut.com
    They lighten perspective up and make me laugh. And that is a very good thing.
    Thank you for indulging "Dr. C's" perspective.
    YOU and Catriona AND Wendy are all treasures.

  5. Not sure what I'd have come up with "on the spot" - it's hard enough when given time to think! One short answer might be: If we were not alive, we would not be able to think and ask questions. (Which is really not so very different from Heather's answer.)

  6. The 'answer' is simple (I Googled it) - It's not what you believe that matters. It's what you do in the light of what you believe.

  7. @ Scriptor... Not an answer that would satisfy an 8-year-old...

  8. Thanks all. It's good to know I'm not alone. The problem for me is that I've never questioned why we are here. We are. That's good enough for me.

    Mum spent her life looking for answers to questions I couldn't even dream of. I'd love to know how she would have answered Catriona. I miss you, Mum.

    I agree with Cynthia (and I know it's Heather's view too and I suspect Monica is of like mind) that it's not a particular religion within Christianity that matters but as, Scriptor says what we do in the light of what we follow.

    The problems come when you lose your faith. Then Scriptor's comment comes absolutely into its own.

    Interestingly I think Scriptor's answer would have satisfied/not satisfied Catriona to the same extent that any answer I could give would have. After all her response to 'us being because God made us' was that that doesn't explain why we are. God, if you are there, please help me if she pursues this one. 'Cos I'm not able to do it alone. Actually I think I might admit defeat and refer her to her Mum. After all she'll find out eventually that I don't know the answer to everything.

  9. Great points made, Graham - but your input will plant seeds in her mind and that's worth a million :)

    I've learned that children LOVE to pursue and make us sweat - they already are aware that we don't know everything - mine are - but they love to see us squirm :)

  10. Realizing that there are questions to which there are no easy answers is all part of growing up...

    One of my favourite places in the Old Testament is when Moses is arguing with the Lord in front of the burning bush. God tells him he wants him to go to Pharaoh to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses has problems with that. For one thing, he wants to know: Who shall I say sent me?!

    God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me."

    Now what kind of an answer is that?! It's the kind of answer God gives about himself.

    He will hardly expect us to do better.

    And in light of that, Graham, I think you did pretty well, actually...!