Saturday, March 17, 2007

Musings on Life Without God

Mom asked me what I want to do next year. "Do you think you'll get a part time job?" After considering it for a moment, I replied, "Well, I'd have to get a car to get a job....and I'd have to get a job to get a car."

Much of life follows this pattern. I only spend money because I've earned it, and I earn it so I can spend it. In the morning I awake so I can become tired again and return to bed that evening. Call it the circle of life. In the words of E.B. White's spider, Charlotte: "What is life? We live a little, then we die."

On the surface, it all appears futile; in fact, I would like to propose an idea that is both revolutionary and entirely un-original: life does not only appear futile. It is futile. Even when our eternal destinations are taken out of the picture, without a God to serve, ordinary activities and extraordinary activities are worthless. Glorious achievements, such as winning the presidency, are essentially as pointless as everyday actions, such as taking out the trash, if a higher purpose is not satisfied. These so-called “glorious achievements” are not truly great because they only enhance the wellbeing of a human race, which of course, only “lives a little, then dies.” The endless circle of anemic living.

If this is entirely true, then what is it that spurs us to wonder if there is not some higher meaning than this mediocrity? What makes us even momentarily look beyond the daily grind? C.S. Lewis observed in Mere Christianity: "God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself."

This truth cannot be compromised by imitations that seek to remove God from the picture. Without the Creator, the created cannot be content. Without the Creator, life is meaningless. It is God whose presence grants beauty and eternal perspective to drudgery. Philippians 4:4 becomes possible ( "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!") when God enters the picture. Even washing dishes, for instance, when done for His glory, becomes a brush with the divine. Life becomes more than time spent. It becomes purposeful. It becomes beautiful.

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Anonymous Jacqui said...

Amen. Indeed, we are made to run on Him. Very good post, my friend.

(on a side note, i've recently discovered another of those interesting bits of circular logic in life: to get into college, you must finish school and graduate. but to get into college one must take time off of school to complete college applications. and then one falls behind in school and one might not graduate unless one stops doing college applications and works on school instead...)

March 22, 2007 7:50 AM  

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