On July 1st, I wrote the following questions in my journal.
What would it mean for someone if God exists?
What would it mean for someone if there is no God?
Then they just simmered for little over a month. Let’s consider the questions, though. Ready to get started?
There Is A God
What does that mean for reality? What does that mean for you?
All matter is created. You are a creation. There is something beyond you.
Look at how you’re living. If you met God, what would you say?
‘I didn’t know.’ ‘You can’t judge me.’
Would the response be fear, anger, something else?
People like to think they’ll tell God off. Consider this, our universe is at least 13.7 billion (13,700,000,000) years old and from what we can see, 91 billion (91,000,000,000) light years across. Unimaginable distances, when we look at the moon we’re looking 2 seconds into the past. It’s far enough away that it takes light that long to reflect from it and into our eyes.
Stars that engulf our solar system are out there, galaxies, down to the subatomic level of the quarks that make up atoms. The fine-tuning involved. The scale and precision of design. The mind that wrote the DNA code.
Or, the power it took to do it all in the first place…and you’re going to tell the Being who did all that off? Or try to take its place?
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
There Is No God
Same questions, what does it mean for reality and you? Everything would be here by accident, a miracle without the divine, yet it’s still here. You, a temporary speck, here and gone in less than a second on the cosmic time scale, having no importance, no intrinsic value at all. Sure, a few people love you, but in a purely natural world, that’s just chemical reactions. They have to “love” you.
Your lifestyle? Sure you can live however you want, as long as you’re not a problem, then your own people will take you out. Guess you’re not as free as you thought.
Here’s a question, how can they be so judgmental?” There are no rules; it’s all subjective. No real condemnation, also no real praise. Objective standards don’t exist. Justice? Nope.
Nietzsche wrote “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?” in The Gay Science (Section 125, The Madman) on the eve of the 20th Century. Then in the 20th Century, approximately 231 million people were killed by “human decision” according to Milton Leitenburg in a paper titled Deaths in Wars and Conflicts in the 20th Century.
Man worshiping his god, himself.
Solomon called this line of thinking meaningless.
The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come
will not be remembered by those who follow them.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 NIV
What of the good things?
I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives. I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly.
What more can the king’s successor do than what has already been done?
I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.
The wise have eyes in their heads, while the fool walks in the darkness;
but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both.
Then I said to myself, “The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?”
I said to myself, “This too is meaningless.”
For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both have been forgotten. Like the fool, the wise too must die!
So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless.
So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.
Ecclesiastes 2:1-23 NIV
It’s A Bit Depressing, Isn’t It?
Considering this though, when you say something is wrong or evil, aren’t you inferring there is a standard? You innately sense it. When you ask, how did we get here, you’re implying why are we here. The statistical odds lean heavily on non-existence rather than life or a universe at all.
The hunger for something beyond life implies there is something that can satisfy it according to C.S Lewis. You don’t thirst unless there is water to sate it.
The incompleteness that can’t ever seem to be filled by anything here because there isn’t anything or anyone sufficient to accomplish that. G.K Chesterson said, “Meaningless comes from being weary of pleasure.” It’s unsustainable.
So What Can You Do?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
No more striving, no more meaninglessness, you’ll have something better. Jesus did it for you already, he’ll walk with you. Without those insecurities and fears, you can do great things for others through Him. Because it’s not about you, it’s about Him.