Theirs Not to Reason Why

Writing about God is one of the unequivocal joys of my life. Not only does it feed an intrinsic desire to share experiences of an everyday God, but it’s also a direct channel of communication with the Divine. A celestial hotline; where I hear the gentle hum of the inner voice. Many a time, I’ve begun to write about X, only to find myself writing about Y, as God gently nudges my pen. In fact, writing about God has become as necessary to me, as breathing. So, imagine my surprise, when God asked me to take a break from writing, without providing any explanation.

Disbelieving at first, the message had to be repeated through different mediums, before I finally laid down my pen. But when I did, I didn’t ask why. I knew from experience that if the guidance was from God, I could trust it, without needing any explanation. Eventually, everything would become clear to me. That’s how God works in my life. He steers my path in unorthodox directions, without providing reasons. It’s not because He’s testing me or wants to remain mysterious. It’s because He knows I don’t need explanations. Of course, it wasn’t always that way. Once upon a time, when life took unexpected turns, I desperately needed the comfort and reassurance of explanations. But as my faith grew, I began to see the wisdom in the unfolding path and gradually learnt to trust.

I was reminded of this recently in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade. It’s about a group of British soldiers who made a suicidal cavalry charge against heavily defended Russian troops during the Crimean War. Tennyson portrayed the soldiers as heroic, because they were willing to sacrifice their lives, without calling their orders into question. Tennyson’s famous verse – “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die” is often mistaken as originating from the Bible, with its undertones of mankind’s incapacity to understand what’s asked of him. But the poem resonated with me, because once I know guidance comes from a reliable source (i.e. God), I don’t question it.

In today’s tumultuous times, change has become ubiquitous. With the pandemic continuing to dominate our lives, we’ve been forced to live in a constant state of transition and fear. The sand continues to shift beneath our feet, preventing us from making plans, with no end in sight. And there’s little point in asking why we can’t do something, because it will all have changed again, in a few days time. We’ve had to learn to live with uncertainty and the mercurial nature of life. And also with the fact that the explanations we’re given are unlikely to stand the test of time. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says that a mind disconnected from God is more vulnerable to change, because it’s led by the senses. That means we’re in danger of being ruled by volatile emotions, if we don’t stay grounded in our faith.

Perhaps if anything, the pandemic has taught us to turn away from the temporal world for assurances about our survival and instead, take our steer from God, where no explanation is necessary. At least, that’s what its taught me.

Copyright ©