A question came to me this week–we know what happens when you die. But what happens when we live?
First, I think the Avett Brothers have something to say to this. Listen to this while you read my answer. I love this song.
Second, the tension between eschatology (the study of the end of personal and corporate time) and Right Now is real. It’s probably at the source of most of human anxiety–how I live now is in deep conflict with my beliefs about the future, my end, my purpose.
If you have no belief about your end, your future, your purpose, yet you live as if you do–tension. Anxiety, because you are living a lie. You lie to yourself that people and babies and truth and has meaning but deep inside, you are saying to yourself, “I’m just a grown up amoeba.” Or as Neil Peart wrote, “Seems to me it’s chemistry.”
If you have beliefs that you have a purpose, an end goal, and that life has extrinsic and intrinsic meaning given by a Creator, yet you play LOL all night and eat garbage and treat people like garbage, that produces profound unhappiness and anxiety.
There are three options we can pursue from that observation. The first is nihilism. This is a logical and miserable option. Nihilism means that life is meaningless, which nothing, if nihilism is true.
The second is moralistic therapeutic deism, where you try and be good and act like God exists and he exists to make you feel better until things turn out dandy in the end for everyone. This is illogical but less miserable for everyone, including you. But less miserable is still miserable.
The third, dear reader, is what I would ask everyone to do–to connect those two moments, birth and death–realizing that right now counts forever. Deny that God exists to make you feel better. Realize that we all will live with great pain–the pain of discipline and self-control or the pain of deep remorse and regret. Choose a disciplined life that is connected organically, deeply, with your spiritual beliefs and then open your eyes–how do your beliefs look when lived out consistently?
I believe that only the genuine, humble, Christian faith can bear such a four dimensional revelation, a lived-out fleshed-out, incarnational example before the world. The rest of you, religious and irreligious, live and believe well insofar as you live on borrowed capital from us. We gladly lend it but encourage you to seek the Source.
Come to Dayspring PCA on Sunday to learn more about that Source and see it lived out in our families.