“The longest journey of any person is the journey inward.”
Dag Hammerskjold, a former Secretary General of the United Nations, made this comment as he was observing the somewhat puzzling truth that human beings have become quite adept at exploring the earth and even outer space, but have not been equally successful in the exploration of themselves.
Why do we so often resist turning the search inward? God made us to wonder, so it is only natural that we have an interest in understanding the created world, but that creation includes us, too.
Maybe it is fear of what we will find. Maybe we simply don’t want to know the truth about ourselves because we are happy being blissfully ignorant, as if it gives us some kind of free pass to be unashamedly selfish.
Whatever the reason, there are questions that really need to be asked about ourselves; questions that demand answers if we are going to have a coherent worldview from which to base all of our other actions and decisions.
The timeless questions that each person needs to answer are:
Origin: How did I get here?
Meaning: Why am I here?
Morality: What is truth?
Destiny: What happens when I die?
The great news is that God has answered each one of them. He is just waiting for us to ask.
Now, the answers that God provides to these questions force us to look deep within ourselves. They call on us to confront who we really are. They open our eyes to our helplessness, our sin and brokenness.
God’s answers reveal immutable truth, that kind that doesn’t change with the shifting winds of public opinion.
They also reveal a loving and just God who reaches out to us through his Son and our shame, calling us to accept the redemption that He alone has provided through Jesus and to be forever healed from our brokenness; to find the only hope we have; to live under his will and his power, called and empowered to demonstrate his selfless love to a lost and broken world.
Answering those questions posed above is so incredibly important to understanding ourselves and our purpose. Yet, we so often go about our daily lives never even considering why we do the things we do or what the eternal consequences of our decisions might be.
We don’t like to think about death but every one of us will someday face it.
We want to know more about ourselves, yet for many and various reasons we often fearfully resist. We continue walking down a path with a “dead” end.
Just as the saying goes, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step,” God is calling on each of us to turn around and take that first step toward him, to the discovery of ourselves and our Creator.
For real answers about who we are and why we are, we must look to our author.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps. 139:13)(ESV).
“The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him” (Rom. 12:3)(MSG).