(Give this to a 20/30 Something)
Just west of Des Moines, Iowa, Interstate 80 hits a fork in the road. If you’re going to San Francisco, you keep on I-80 heading west. If you want to go to Houston, you bear south on I-35. Two roads heading to two different places. Where do you want to go?
It’s like life. Where you want to go determines which road you take. Most times our choices are “day to day” and have to do with groceries or family gatherings or what’s on TV. Seldom do we think of the Big Picture (Where AM I going with my life?).
Two roads lie ahead of us. One directs our lives to God. Do you want to meet Him in heaven? The other road is in search of some happiness here on earth before the lights get turned off.
The God Factor is critical in how you experience life. Things go off in two very different directions depending on what you believe about God and whether this God has a purpose for your life. See what you think. . . . .
Here’s what happens if there is no God (or if there’s no way of knowing anything about him anyway).
1. Nothing means anything. “Good” or “bad” is merely your opinion. What you think is “your truth”. What I think is “my truth”. In fact there is no ultimate truth.
2. Since there is no ultimate goodness to guide our actions, then “lesser gods” will serve. Money, possessions, leisure and pleasure are what life is about.
3. Might makes right. My wanting more makes me a potential threat to what you have. (Why can’t I take what you have? You say, “that’s not right!” I say, “Says who?!”)
4. Sickness, poverty, or tragic happenings can only be seen as absurd or real bad luck. Flee these things. Pity those who encounter them. They are the “unlucky ones”.
5. Any moment of beauty or longing that our lives have ultimate meaning is an illusion and should be tolerated like Santa Claus with our children. (Let this God myth continue as long as it keeps people happy).
6. An “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is the best way of dealing with human conflict. But who has the authority to declare something as righteous or criminal?
7. Our best hopes for our children would be that they were skillful hunters in getting what they want in a world that doesn’t care.
8. About the best thing we can wish anybody is “Good Luck”.
Pretty grim wouldn’t you say? Yet that is the way of the human heart without God. You see we humans were MADE FOR God. Made to enter into relationship with Him and without Him . . . . we lose our purpose for existing. We become, as the great theologian Romano Guardini put it, “clever animals”.
The revealed God of Christianity changes everything.
Here’s what happens when you let God into your life. (These contrast with 1-8 above)
1. Everything means something. The fact that something “is” gives it purpose in the plan of God. All that exists shares to some degree in the truth of its maker.
2. The “lesser goods” become what they were intended to be—joys in life that point to a loving God who wishes our happiness. They are not an end in themselves.
3. By God’s love (revealed in Christ), we become brothers and sisters to each other, NOT “threats” or rivals.
4. The hard things in life (sickness etc.) have been redeemed. They too now serve God’s purpose. They reveal true love. (We only know this by Jesus Christ who took suffering and death to himself to reveal what God’s love is like.) “Love bears all things.” 1 Cor. 13.
5. Longing for peace or purpose in life is a grace put there by God to remind us of our true home. “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee Oh Lord.” St Augustine
6. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator . . .”
7. Our best hope for our children is that they would grow to be good and kind and happy in “doing what is right and just”. And that they too would come to know the presence of God in their life.
8. Our best wish for someone? “Go with God”. Go with God.