“Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” – William Wallace
Socrates made the claim that “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Many people go through the motions of life without really considering what it is all about, giving little thought to why they do what they do.
I remember having lunch with a Japanese friend in Manila. She is an accomplished pianist who speaks English with a posh French accent, owing to her years of study in France. During the course of our conversation, I asked if she had ever given thought to the purpose of her life, and if there was a God who created her, giving her the beautiful gift of music she enjoyed. Her answer was no, she had never thought about it and she considered that quite common in her culture.
The next few times we met, it was clear that she was giving it some thought and as we said our good-byes, she confessed that one of her struggles with faith was the behavior of some people who claim to believe in God. I have been reading a book by a journalist who is an atheist (his book is a current US bestseller), and many of the arguments he brings up have to do with strange practices, ridiculous statements, and even evil acts perpetrated by some people who believe in God. I can’t help but think that God cringes, yes, is even heart-broken over these same things. Still, He says we are without excuse.
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
Some who claim that belief in God is a “leap of faith” are ice skating on the edge of reason in their disbelief. They fall off into nothing. According to Ravi Zacharias, “If there’s such a thing as evil, you assume there’s such a thing as good. If you assume there’s such a thing as good, you assume there’s such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. If you assume there’s such a thing as a moral law, you must posit a moral law giver, but that’s whom they are trying to disprove and not prove.”
There is a difference, a huge chasm, between God and humanity. We are responsible and accountable before God for our own lives. I enjoy being around children who take in the wonder of everything around them with a steady stream of “wow!”s and “why?”s. Even though I grew up in a Christian home, my own faith has been challenged and examined. I am a believer in Jesus Christ because I believe His claims are true and answer the major questions of my existence. We were never meant to live a life lulled to sleep in the “comfort” of unchallenged tradition or belief systems encouraged by the cultures in which we live. Some time between the inquisitiveness of childhood and adulthood, a kind of alarming stultification can set in. Sometimes the events of our lives can bring us to a place of confusion and cynicism.
Where is the curiosity? Where is the wonder? Where is the passion for life and knowing who we are and to whom we owe this wonderful existence? It is not just an intellectual pursuit; it is a matter of the heart – God’s pursuit of our hearts.
Take some time to examine your life and what you believe:
What do I believe?
Why am I here?
What am I living for?
How did I arrive at my belief/disbelief in God?
How much of my belief is shaped by my culture or by disappointments and bad experiences?
Have I seriously considered the claims of Jesus Christ?
How do I live my life?
Does my life follow what I believe?
How do I treat the people closest to me?
Do I help others with my abilities and resources?
Do I take positive risks to live life to its fullest and fulfill my dreams?
Is my heart filled with love and compassion?