Santa is probably resting for his big trip a week from today. According to this morning’s TIME website, he will need to travel 226 million miles to deliver presents to 675 million households.
Reindeer can’t get Santa everywhere he needs to go, so his sleigh is apparently jet-propelled. Assuming he gets five miles per gallon of jet fuel, he’ll need around forty-five million gallons for the evening. With jet fuel going for around $1.20 a gallon, his total fuel cost will be a little less than $54 million.
When I was a child, I wondered how Santa could deliver presents to all the “good children” in the world in one night. The math didn’t add up. And how would he get all those presents down people’s chimneys? Some didn’t seem to fit. Some of my friends didn’t have chimneys. It was a mystery.
Now that I know the truth about Santa Claus, I need help with some of the perplexing issues we’re facing today. For instance, how will we deal with email threats against our schools? Districts in Miami, Houston, Dallas, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale received threats similar to the ones sent to Los Angeles and New York City.
A friend of the San Bernardino shooters has been charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorism. Are other attacks coming? A quarter-million lives have been lost in Syria. Will this conflict ever end? Last night, Caitlyn Jenner was named Barbara Walters’s “Most Fascinating Person of 2015.” What is the future for sexual morality in our culture?
When I became a Christian, I struggled greatly with intellectual questions about my new faith. I assumed that faith was the absence of doubt, so that the more I doubted, the less faith I had.
It turns out, the opposite is true.
Medieval theologian Peter Abelard: “The key to wisdom is this—constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth.” Let’s explore his thesis for a moment.
In Habakkuk 1, the prophet asked God: “Why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?” (v. 13). His question led to God’s answer: “The righteous shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). This famous statement is quoted three times in the New Testament and was pivotal for Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.
In Luke 1, the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would become the mother of the Son of God. She was perplexed and asked, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (v. 34). Her question led to the angel’s answer: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God” (v. 35). This statement is vital to our understanding of the Incarnation.
When we ask our questions, we position ourselves to receive God’s revelatory answers. Despite what skeptics claim, Christianity is a reasoned worldview built on objective truth. So ask your hard questions of your loving Father. Know that the Christ of Christmas understands your struggles and doubts (Hebrews 4:15). His Father invites us, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord” (Isaiah 1:18).
Apparently, the only wrong question is the one you won’t ask.