Where is Sherlock Holmes when you need him?
I, like so many people, love a good mystery. I have read all the Sherlock Holmes stories, the Father Brown stories, and other good mystery novels. I just like trying to solve a good mystery.
A good mystery does not reveal the mystery until the end. Throughout history, evidence of significance points to that person and the other person, and so on. However, you must read the end of the story to find the answer to the mystery.
Mysteries don’t only exist in storytelling novels. In my case, the mysteries are throughout my life. I can’t get by one day without some kind of mystery.
Nor is it because he is getting old. As I remember my younger days, it was also full of mysteries.
I remember that Christmas Eve when I was going to solve the mystery of Santa Claus. I heard about this mysterious person, but had never seen him and this Christmas, I promised myself, I am going to see who this Santa Claus really is.
That night my parents sent me, my brother and my sister to bed early because it was Christmas Eve. We had our little party around the Christmas tree and admired where all the Christmas presents should be in the morning.
Then, at the 10 o’clock strike, we were sent to our bedrooms to await the arrival of Santa Claus and Christmas presents. I decided to stay up and watch Mr. Santa Claus work out his mystery on Christmas Eve.
Hidden in the shadows, I could see my mother and father around the Christmas tree drinking Christmas punch, talking and laughing. They seemed to be having a good time. I was a bit irritated that they were having a good time at my expense.
Then I heard my mother say, “Don’t you think it’s about time?”
My mother and father looked at each other and gave one of those funny giggles. My father said, “It sure is. Let’s go find them.”
At the time, he really didn’t understand what he was talking about. What were they supposed to look for? Why don’t you get out of the way so Santa Claus can come and do his thing?
Soon they disappeared and I was excited because I thought that the next person who would enter the room would be Santa Claus himself.
I faintly heard from the hallway, “Shhhhhh, we don’t want to wake up the children.”
Then I saw something that I never anticipated in my entire life. My mother and father came into the living room with Christmas presents and carefully placed them under the Christmas tree. They made several trips and it wasn’t long before the Christmas tree was loaded with all kinds of Christmas presents.
I just couldn’t believe my eyes. For years, my parents told us the story of Santa Claus along with Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer. They told it in such a way that I believed every word. Now before me was the evidence that what they were telling me all these years presented as a mystery, was not a mystery at all.
I have just solved the biggest mystery of my life up to that point. My parents were Santa Claus. It was difficult for me to swallow that information. It was not the mystery he wanted to solve.
Now I had another mystery on my hands. Do I tell my brother and sister that I had solved the biggest mystery we had in our house?
Revealing the mystery to them would give me great satisfaction.
On the other hand, revealing the mystery to them would greatly disappoint them.
Now that I have solved that mystery, what do I do? Do I seek my satisfaction or do I protect my brothers from disappointment?
It was then that I solved the greatest mystery in life. That is, every mystery you solve presents a bigger mystery that you cannot solve. That seems to be the way of life.
I’m glad I learned it when I was young because it has benefited me over the years. I have learned to live with mysteries without any desire to discover those mysteries.
When I say “desireless”, I don’t mean it literally. Yes, there have been many mysteries that I have wanted to solve. But my greatest discipline is to let a mystery be a mystery.
This is very helpful to me, especially since I became a husband.
Every husband knows that his wife, wonderful as she is, is a basket full of mysteries.
When I first got married, I thought it was my job to solve each of those mysteries. I learned very quickly that solving a marital mystery, particularly on the female side, is quite a dangerous undertaking without good grades behind it.
Better to leave some things in life’s mystery basket.
Paul understood this when he wrote: “And indisputably great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed in the world, received up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16).
Some mysteries are too sacred to attempt to solve, rather we should rejoice in the mysteries associated with our Father who is in heaven.