Robin and I decided that with the new “Matrix Resurrections” being released and with us booking theatre tickets for next week, that it would be advantageous for us to re-watch the original Matrix trilogy. By the way, did I mention that I love the Matrix trilogy? So many layers of revelation and understanding that after 20 years of watching these movies I still find myself in awe at the new levels of insight that reveals itself. I digress.
Back to the movie. In the second movie “Reloaded” there is a scene where Neo again meets with the Oracle and asks her about how he can make a choice. She responds “You didn’t come here to make a choice; you’ve already made it. You’re here to try to understand why you made it.”
There it is, we make choices all the time without stopping to think why we did that but there is always an underlying reason behind the decisions we make, even if we can’t see it in the moment. Remember that decisions are based on perceptions whether conscious or unconscious. Those perceptions control our very being and determine what we see and don’t see, what we feel and don’t feel, what we believe and don’t believe, yet they are only perceptions. The pathway beyond those perceptions begins with the question “Why”. It is the questioning that forces us to be open to the possibility of seeing that which has been hidden from us. (The hidden is often the result of insecurities that we don’t want to face, both conscious and unconscious)
Where am I going with this you ask? Well, I would like us to look at a familiar scripture and perhaps go beyond the surface of the action and dive into the mystery of the why. This might be uncomfortable for some of you, but I assure you that it is going to be okay. Let us begin.
Gen 3:6(NASB) When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
On the surface we would see the action of the woman and call that action sin and the sin was a result of the representation of the fruit (good for food, delight to the eyes, and make one wise) and the woman’s desire. What we often fail to see is her perception. Why did she feel that she was lacking something? Was she not created in God’s image and likeness? Was she not God’s image reflected? Could it not be stated that if you have seen her then you have seen the Father? She was created in perfection yet believed the lie of the serpent, the lie that suggested to her that she was missing something, that God was holding out on her. She was being blinded to the truth about herself and as a result was now going to have to do something to qualify and bring herself back to that original state. It is this state of blindness we call sin, and the result of that blindness is evident in her actions. Please note that the blindness came first, then the action. I have often heard it said that “sin leads to blindness” but I would suggest that the blindness is the sin and the blindness causes us to act in a way that is not beneficial to ourselves and to others.
Remember Saul on the road to Damascus and how he was hunting down the early church? Were not his actions a result of blindness? Is this not what the Lord was revealing to Saul when he was blinded on the road? Later when Ananias prayed for him something like scales fell from his eyes and he could now see. This new sight (salvation) opportuned Saul in his decision making, for now he can see what he is doing (He was blind but now he sees).
I find it interesting that many came to Jesus trying to qualify themselves by their actions and yet Jesus would look beyond the action to the why. What was going on inside of them? Is adultery the physical act or is it the lust that is performed in the heart? According to Jesus it is the lust that is performed in the heart. It is the judgmental religious that measure by the external whereas Jesus looked beyond what the eyes see and looked into the heart (the why). When the woman caught in adultery was brought to him (by the way, where was the guy who was with her?) Jesus did not judge her actions, instead he looked beyond her actions into the why. Then Jesus ministers to the why (the rejection, the shame, the false identity, the blindness) without judgment and in doing so opportuned the woman to see something she had not seen before.
How about the story of Mike? Oh, I forgot that one is not in the scriptures. Anyways, Mike is a guy who didn’t understand why he did what he did sometimes. There was a blindness that hid the answers in his heart. Mike badly wanted insight and freedom from his condition but didn’t know how. He asked God many times to help him and felt that help wasn’t coming. One day it was revealed to Mike that he was lying to himself and freedom from lying is found in honesty and truth. This was a scary thing to Mike, to admit to himself his insecurities were beyond his present capacity to endure. But in the end, the desire for freedom outweighed the insecurities and step by step Mike practiced being honest with himself and would ask himself why. Why did I do that? Why did I feel that way? Mike made a rule for himself in this process. Whatever the reason was for his action, he was not allowed to point outward, only inward. Mike began to understand that his problem was in the mirror, the problem was what he saw in the mirror (his perception). As Mike began being honest with himself and took responsibility for the why he began to see a different image in the mirror. He began to see his original perfection over his present and past flaws. We could say that Mike was blinded from the truth because of what he believed about himself but as he allowed himself to see who he really was from God’s perspective, he found his life on a forward process of darkness into light. Sin is the darkness (blindness) and salvation is the progression into light (sight). Last I heard, Mike married a pretty gal named Robin and the two of them are moving forward together in a Christ journey.
It is a funny thing how such a small word such as “Why” can be such a great bother to us. Parents frustrated with their inquisitive children “Why Mommy, why Daddy” try to stop the questioning. Pastors frustrated with their inquisitive congregations “Why Pastor” try to stop the questioning and then we wonder why we are so afraid to ask ourselves the question Why? Perhaps the answer is not as important as the question. When we find the freedom to ask ourselves the question then usually the answer is already there waiting on us. All it takes is a little why!