Us or Him: Our Only OptionsWhat gives your life meaning? Sitting on my desk at the moment is an attractive coffee table book by the title A Better Life: 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning In a World Without God. It’s filled with great pictures of people who have created meaning in a life without God.
This raises an important question, “Can meaning be created?” Well, of course it can. You see this when a small child takes a rock and a stick and invents a game that keeps them entertained for, well, however long their increasingly decreasing attention span allows for. But is this real meaning or are we just talking about children’s games?
Consider the philosophy of “existentialism.” Don’t let the big word bite you, in some ways it isn’t that complicated. It can be summed up in the statement, “Existence precedes essence.” That doesn’t help either does it? Okay, here’s what it means. You come into the world and then you create your own meaning for yourself. You aren’t born with any preexisting values.
Here’s a helpful and entertaining video that gives a quick summary:
So, there you have it. Either we are born with basic purposes or we have to create them for ourselves. Life really boils down to these two options. Either God has purposes that will direct our paths or we will have to forge our own way. Of course, if we are inventing values as we go along we have to recognize that they are not ultimate, objective, or even binding on anyone but ourselves (and even that is negotiable).
But, if God exists that means you can know purpose and meaning, not the kind you create but the kind for which you were created. This is the type of purpose you recognize in those moments of awe when you’re struck with a sense of destiny. And if it’s true that God exists, that destiny is a real thing, that God has created you, and the whole world for that matter, for a purpose, then you are in the wonderful position of living life with the a deep, strong, abiding, foundation strong enough to sustain human flourishing.
It’s us or it’s him. That’s pretty much our two options. Choose wisely.