What is my purpose for being created and what is my purpose for existing? Sometimes I feel OK, just OK, and other times I feel lousy and rotten; sometimes I know why, and other times I don’t know why. Some days are good; they pass pleasantly and I feel good. Other days are bad and they pass slowly, and I am really enduring them.
If you are a good God, why do you allow suffering? What is the purpose of suffering? Does it refine human beings to fulfil their potential, or does it focus people on you and your omnipotence? Is suffering merely the result of a fallen and sinful world, and a fallen Creation? What should we do when we suffer? Cry out in despair? Grit our teeth and bare it, or turn our faces to you?
How can we love our enemies, O Lord, when sometimes we have a problem with our families and friends? Should we really turn the other cheek when someone strikes, or more likely when someone says something nasty or unpleasant about us? Doesn’t this make us seem weak, when we want to be strong? How does a city boy growing up around all kinds of macho men really turn the other cheek anyway? It’s easy, Lord, to say something after all but not so easy to do it.
Why Lord when there is abundance of resources of every kind in the world do so many people go without, even to the point of being half starved and living ever in want? What is your answer to such harsh realities? Why do bad people prosper, and good and decent people go to the wall? Why in this world do the seeming wicked and unjust thrive, whilst people who try with all their hearts to live as you command them, suffer all kinds of distress and calumnies, and live in often reduced circumstances of some kind? What is your purpose for those who bend their ears to your discipline, Lord?
Is it religious robots you want O Lord, people just fulfilling rituals blindly, not knowing why, or do you want individuals who choose you from their hearts, doing right and knowing why they do right? Are you to be found in churches, or cathedrals O Lord, or is the vast universe itself too small to contain you?
What is the purpose for Creation, O Lord, and why did you create everything anyway? Were we created for a purpose, and if so what is that purpose? Isn’t one of our purposes just to be happy and content and being grateful for all the good things you created?
When we lose sight of you and we really despair, what are we meant to do; hang onto your words and just be obedient, or what? I know you forgive sins Lord, but even so why do I feel so much guilt at the multitude of sins I committed not so long ago? When will I feel pure and when will you forgive my sins Lord?
Lord, you punish wickedness, but what about all those people not particularly wicked just getting on with their lives; what about them?
Lord, some people are straightforward, they can do something all their lives, they never question, they fit in and do what they’re told. What about those who don’t seem to fit in, the square pegs in round holes, the quiet, the mysterious, those who want to walk solitary and alone on hilltops, those who think, those who question everything, those who are not satisfied; what about us?
Lord, if we question, if we ask you things that are not easy to understand or fathom out, if we are annoying in our inquisitive and questioning nature, aren’t these characteristics in us placed there by you after all? Do we have that spark of God in us, that means we know what is right, even though time and time again we don’t do it? Why, when we know what is right and just, do we struggle even just to live half-decent lives? Is this our lot Lord, to live half-lives, always in the shadows, not knowing when things will get better, but hoping day after day that they will?
If you are a God who loves goodness and mercy O Lord, why is the world filled with suffering and hurting people, why are there so many bad things in the world, and why does evil often triumph over simple good? Why do the greedy and selfish prosper, and the good and the kind vanish like early morning mist? What is your answer O Lord?
Lord, if you are the Creator of everyone and everything, why did you pick a particular tribe to be your people? Why do you pick some and not others? Why me, O Lord?