Why? Why did he do it? Those investigating the horrendous act of violence in Las Vegas are seeking answers to that very question. Why? What would cause a person to choose to want to do this, to plan so thoroughly, so meticulously to carry out such a dastardly, cowardly act against fellow human beings?
Was he “radicalized” by a terrorist group? Was he targeting a certain age group? Did he hate country music? Was there a political motive behind his desire to kill? In the days ahead we will probably get some clues as to what was going on in his thoroughly depraved mind. Then we can look for answers of how to, if possible, prevent such things from happening. And, this, we should do.
But, if and when we are able to answer the “why” he took so many innocent lives have we really gotten to the root cause of why he did what he did? Behind all sorts of evil, his and mine (and yours) is the “heart” not surrendered to God. The Ten Commandments are the boundaries God has given us for healthy relationships. For our own good and the good of others we are not to cross those lines. Jesus summarized these prohibitions by going to the heart issue, “ ….love God supremely and love others as you love yourself.” (My take on Matthew 22:36-40).
Jeremiah observed, “The heart is ..deceitful.. and is desperately sick: who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17: 9). This is a message lost on modern mankind, we have become so PC, so educated, sophisticated and refined that we gloss over the heart issue which only God can fix. I trusted Jesus to save me when I was a kid but what I have learned is that I desperately need him to keep on saving me from my self-centeredness, pride and my desire to dethrone God in my life.
There is a battle going on in my soul and yours and who wins that battle (God or Satan and self) will determine our character and our character will determine our words and actions. One thing we can all learn from the great tragedy in Las Vegas is that we and our society are lost without God. And we , like the shooter, have choices to make about our words and actions. Lord help us to look inside our heart because there we find the “why” we what we do.