I recently added a new skill to my repertoire: tattoo checker. A friend wanted to get a Hebrew tattoo and he (wisely) wanted to make sure it said what he wanted it to say. Unlike the guy recently found in a Walmart with a Hebrew tattoo, which he claimed said strength. It didn’t. His skin said matso. This is the flat, thin biscuit eaten during Passover.*
Another friend had a tattoo with the Greek word for love (agape), at least that’s what she thought. She had asked her friend to check it, but he got it wrong. She ended up with hagape which does not mean a single thing. (The best I can come up with from this is an old ugly female ape – hag ape).
A little more examination, a little more thought would have made a really big difference. Because the thing about these kind of mistakes is they’re permanent! You can’t rub out a tattoo (at least not without an enormous amount of pain). And yet there are TV shows about people trying to fix regretful tattoos. People who make rash choices with their bodies live to regret it.
But there are worse things in life than living with a bad tattoo. ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’ said Socrates. And yet whether it be the general busyness of life, or the distraction of constant electronic input, our modern lives are almost defined by a lack of self-examination. We’re very good at the “how”; the greatest advancements in our society have come from asking how? This is the genius of modern technology.
But one simple word can avoid regret - 'why'!
We don’t do ‘why’ very well: Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Why should we live a certain way and not another? Asking the ‘why’ questions gets us well and truly down the examined life path. Asking the ‘why’ question can save a lot of pain down the track.
So can we ask you, are you asking yourself why questions? Are you living an examined life? Are you asking the big questions?
Why are we here?
Why did God make the world?
Why should we live a certain way and not another?
Why are we so fearful of death?
Why is it that relationships matter so much to us?
Why do see other people’s failures so easily and yet fail to see our own?
Why did Jesus come to die for us?
Why is it that rationality (logic) and maths and science work in our universe?
Why is it that everyone wants a tattoo these days? (Okay, perhaps this isn’t a big question.)
The unexamined life is not worth living, so ask some big questions today.
We at City Bible Forum are committed to asking the bigger questions – it’s our motto after all! Why not join us as we ask the bigger questions?