Tuesday, July 03, 2007

the mystery of life

Every day when I walk into work, I go past a red post box upon which someone has scrawled the word meaningless in large letters. I doubt this is the graffiti artist's impression of the Great British Postal Service. I rather interpret it to be his concise impression of life itself. Alas! How post-modern, post-Darwin, post-Dawkins philosophies have robbed us of a sense of purpose, whether individually or globally or on any intermediate scale.

So is life meaningless? It certainly seems to be so, at times. Even the greatest ancient intellect came to this conclusion (see Ecclesiastes chapter 1, for instance). However I would contend that life may often appear to be meaningless, because it is always puzzling. I know plenty of contemporary Christian teaching follows this line of argument ... God is the missing peace in your life's jigsaw puzzle. Nicky Gumbel et al(pha!) present this most eloquently. Another scheme (local to Manchester) is the Riddle of Life.

But I want to turn this allegory upside-down. God is not just the "missing piece" or even "missing peace" in your life's jigsaw puzzle. Rather, you are a missing piece in his intricate celestial puzzle. This seems more consistent with Jesus' presentation in Luke 15 - his lost sheep, lost coin, lost son trilogy of stories.

Of course, the fact that God has personally come to find us (through his Son) does not absolve us of the responsibility of searching for Him. This is precisely the message Paul presented to the pre-modern, pre-Darwin, pre-Dawkins society of Athens (Acts 17).

Which brings me neatly to my final point. Let me share with you one of my favourite Bible verses. It is a promise from Almighty God Himself, in Jeremiah 29.13 - "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."