Why hello there! Sorry if I startled you. I always did have a way of making an entrance didn't I? Wow!! I can't believe how much you've grown since the last time we met. What? C'mon, you can't be serious! You don't remember me? Really?! It has been a long time hasn't it? Well, in that case, allow me to reintroduce myself. Simply put, I am known as "The Question." It may not be the catchiest name ever, but after you've been around for thousands of years, you learn not to complain about such things.
You may not remember me but I certainly remember you. You were just a wee lad back in those days and, although you were unable to fully comprehend what I brought to your mind, I will never forget your willing spirit. You would listen to me and think deep thoughts with that little mind of yours. How ironic it is that those whom the world dismisses as "silly" and "childish" are the ones who accept the Truth more freely. The old proverb "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" comes to mind here.
Ahem! Sorry for drifting off in thought like that. I do have a tendency to do that you know. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that it gave me so much joy to see you accept the Truth at such a early age. I do realize that I posed some very difficult questions and made you feel uneasy at times. However, I have no regrets. As you are well aware, there are times when a person needs to feel uncomfortable or even apprehensive before they are willing to accept the Truth.
I just wish that I could reach this lost generation. You would be surprised at how difficult my job has become these days. The apathy and pride of today's society is frightening. People have become so busy and so consumed by the worries of life that I have become but a distant memory; a gentle whisper snuffed out by the passage of time. It is almost as if people fear me to such a high degree that they are willing to do almost anything to keep me away. I listen and wait patiently for just the right moment to strike, but rarely does that moment ever come anymore.
Sigh...I remember a time when people could relax and simply reflect on their lives. Memories of the past, dreams of a hopeful future; it was during those precious moments that I could get them thinking. Thinking about the big picture; the really important stuff in life. None of this menial, tasteless, worthless stuff that consumes our lives now.
I can't give up though. I simply can't! Too many precious lives are at stake here. I have to continue until my appointed task is done. I must encourage people to strive for the Truth, to seek the Truth, and not to rest until they find It. After all, if they have no desire to discover the Truth, then they will never find it. And if that is the case, then they have already died.
Mm? What did you say? You want to know what "The Question" itself is? You want me to describe the very essence of my being? My reason for existence? Heh, heh...you never were one for riddles were you son? Always wanting to get straight to the facts; that's what I like about you. Well, since you were bold enough to ask, I will be glad to acquiesce your request.
It is actually quite simple. Try to think back to the time when you were only five years old. Do you remember those quiet times at night after you had been tucked into bed? How it was in those silent moments when difficult, perplexing questions would come to your mind from empty space? Or so it seemed... Questions about your existence; how everything had to have a beginning; how life itself had to have some sort of meaning or purpose. Even though you could not understand, you knew that there was something out there...the void in your heart told you this. I told you this. As you began to understand the concept of death, a new question surfaced. You began to think in terms of "Where do people go when they pass away?" It didn't make sense did it? That something having an existence could suddenly die and be forever wiped out. It was in that moment that I, "The Question," was finally able to ask you the one question that confronts every living person. It is a question that has more potential answers than days in a year and yet there is only one true answer. People have journeyed to the ends of the earth, read thousands of books in an attempt to acquire bundles of knowledge, and have even sacrificed their very lives searching for the answer. First, let me give you "The Question." I promise that you have heard it before; probably as the butt of jokes on some TV show I shouldn't wonder. Anyway, I, "The Question," simply ask every single person I come into contact with one thing. "What is the meaning of life?" Yes, that is my essence; that is "The Question."
You see, my job is to get people thinking. If people give serious thought to "The Question," if individuals begin to think about deep questions like the meaning of it all and what our true purpose is, other questions will begin to arise. The cogs will begin to turn and, as long as they continue to probe diligently, they are destined to discover "The Answer." What's so ironic is the fact that virtually every person who encounters me finds "The Answer" as well! However, what often happens next is simply inexplicable. "The Answer" to my nagging question winds up being so simple; so deceptively simple in fact; that most people...get this...most people actually refuse to accept the Answer! Can you believe it? After the endless searching; after going about the journey so diligently and with such fervor and zeal and with "The Answer" clearly standing before their very eyes, most people do the last thing that you would ever expect out of an intelligent being. Therein lies the great trap my son and believe me, even those whom the world would call "intelligent" or dare I say "genius" fall into this trap unknowingly. The reason for this is that they fail to present themselves to "The Answer" with the heart of a child. They fail to show humility and faith...the lack of these is a detriment to accepting "The Answer." That is the truth my son. In fact, "The Answer" is not exclusive or something that only the elite can obtain. "The Answer" is freely available to all yet there are only a few who truly accept it.
You see, although discovering "The Answer" is no easy task, it is not the true test. The true test is actually confronting "The Answer." Do you come in humility? Do you have the faith to believe? And lastly, are you willing to deny yourself and entrust your very being to "The Answer?" Even the most intelligent and logical of humankind cannot understand this. To the greatest, most intelligent minds, "The Answer" is but folly...even a crutch if you will. It is for this reason that, in an odd and even twisted way, ignorance is bliss. Like the great Socrates said so long ago, "The more I know, the more I learn that I know nothing." Now there was a man who got it!
I do hope that I have answered your questions, old friend. This is the meaning of my existence: to get people thinking...to get them uncomfortable...to give them that zeal to search for the Truth. My reward is seeing any man, woman, boy, or girl accept the Truth. Nothing could please me more and nothing drives me more than seeing someone fill that empty void in their heart with the Right Stuff!
Which brings us to "The Right Stuff" itself. "The Answer." Ha! Ha! Look at you! Your smile gives it away son...you already know "The Answer" don't you? How fortunate and how blessed you are. But with that knowledge of the Truth, you now have an additional responsibility. I have high expectations for you...don't let me down now! The world desperately needs the endless hope and joy that flows from "The Answer." Enlighten them. Encourage them.
Well, I would love to stay and chat but I still have so much work to accomplish. People to enlighten...people to lead to the one and only Answer! People must think before they know and they have to know before they can act. Someday in the not-too-distant future, you and I will meet again. But the war is not over yet. As a matter of fact, it is just beginning. I encourage and implore you to finish the race in full stride. Do not look back; keep your eyes on the goal. If you remain focused and determined, you will make it to the end. I do look forward to seeing you again at the finish line. Be sure to bring as many people with you as you can..Matthew Hull!!
And just as mysteriously as it had begun, the imaginary encounter between myself and "The Question" reached its conclusion. However, there is some truth to this story. When I was only four or five years old, "The Question" struck me and it was just like the description that "The Question" gave in the above story. It simply challenged me to search for the ultimate meaning of life. What does it all mean? What is my purpose? Where will I go when I breathe my last? Very uncomfortable thoughts, actually. After all, it's not easy to ask yourself a question when you don't know the answer right away. However, I thought about it...and thought about it...and kept right on thinking.
Although "The Question" is a serious one, we have done a nice job of downplaying it as nothing more than a classic pun. The problem is that we tend to look away from "The Question;" it is too difficult for us to swallow and the number of possible answers is too large to fathom. Instead of simply dealing with it in the here and now, we look the other way and try to keep ourselves occupied with the petty things in life. Meaningless stuff, really. However, there always comes a time when we find ourselves staring down "The Question." We wind up back at square one...whether we like it or not. This never-ending cycle continues until we breathe our last...or until we decide search for "The Answer." Oh, there are many people who earnestly seek out the answer; they attempt to find the meaning of life in fame, money, women; they try it all. And you know what happens in the end? They end up right back at the beginning; they still have that same mysterious void in their lives.
All of this may sound rather morbid but trust me, there is hope. And there is joy...lots of it just waiting to be had! It has been a long road full of winding turns and rocky hills yet I can say without a shadow of doubt that "The Question;" the BIG Question, does indeed have an Answer!! There is meaning to our lives! There is a hope that stretches beyond our finite, limited lives! We can live joyful lives full of hope and peace every single day! But like "The Question" said, the key is not to simply discover what "The Answer" really is. The answer to the riddle lies in being willing to accept the Answer for what it is.
As you have probably picked up on by now, I have not given you "The Answer" on purpose. It has not been by accident. I want you to be able to think things through yourself and figure out what (or who) "The Answer" is on your own...with a little help from "The Question." ;) However, it is time to tell you everything. If you are tired of my riddles and want to know once and for all what "The Answer" truly is, please click on the link below! If not, then you will just have to wonder about it forever won't you? ;)
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