The meaning of life

Once upon a time there was a family of mice who lived in a large piano. To them, in their “piano world” beautiful music continually filled all the dark corners and dark places of their lives and this brought them great comfort. How lovely it was to know that there was a Great Player Who made this music for them to enjoy. He was invisible to them yet at the same time close to them. Generations of mice in the piano lived and died believing in the existence of this Great Player and took seriously the “Ten Mouse Commandments” regarding how they were to behave.

As generations passed, some younger mice began to take an interest in science and exploration. One day a daring explorer mouse ventured up part of the piano and returned very thoughtful. He had found out how the music was made. His scientific mind led him to acknowledge that wires were the secret. Further research confirmed that tightly stretched wires of graduated lengths which vibrated, were the cause of the music.

Traditional beliefs in the existence of a Great Player were now challenged. Only the older generation of mice continued to believe and to follow the Commandments. Further scientific exploration led to even deeper discoveries. Hammers were now the answer to the cause of the music; hammers hitting the wires! This was a more complicated theory but it all went to show that they lived in a purely mechanical and mathematical world. Gradually the idea of there being a Great Player came to be thought of as a myth, the Mouse Commandments were abandoned as being old fashioned and mouse society collapsed… Meanwhile the Great Player continued to play.

This story clearly illustrates the way in which science only tells us how God makes things work. It doesn’t disprove the existence of the Supreme Designer responsible for that science in the first place! Scripture teaches that God is the Ultimate Scientist, Designer, Planner and Architect behind everything that exists. The very fact that there is such a thing as science, be it in the form of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, logic or whatever, is entirely due to His Design and Planning.

Today this clear distinction between what scientific research does and does not show, is rarely explained. Like the new generation of mice, many people falsely think that science has disproven God. This in turn has resulted in their abandonment of God’s Ten Commandments and the ultimate collapse of our society and indeed nation. As “mouse society” collapsed so has ours.

With a Creator no longer in “the picture” another explanation for our existence is eagerly sought. Although one scientific discovery after another only goes to confirm how profoundly complex life really is, some spend their entire lives theorising about how we came into existence, without there being an Intelligent Designer behind it all. Recently science has discovered that if the information encoded in just a pin head size of DNA was written out in book form, these books would reach to the moon and back over 200 times. Such complexity is staggering and as such means atheists actually need to have faith the size of a mountain to believe that this has occurred without having been designed and planned by a Supreme Being.

When I read of so called “learned men” working on complicated theories regarding how we could have come into existence without a Creator, it always reminds me of a funny story I once heard.

Many years ago three friends were exploring the wilderness of Northern Canada when they came across an isolated cabin. Needing a place to rest they knocked on the door only to discover that the owner was out. The door was unlocked so they went inside to sit down. As one might expect, the cabin had very little furniture but there was one unusual feature; instead of being on the floor, there was a large cast iron stove suspended in mid-air by strong wires attached to roof beams. It was most strange.

As the three friends had something to eat they theorised as to why the stove was suspended in air rather than simply placed on the ground. One friend who was a psychologist thought that owing to sheer loneliness and isolation, the trapper had elevated the stove so that he could curl up under it in order to replicate the comfort of being in the womb. The second man, who was an engineer believed that the owner was practicing the law of thermodynamics. The elevation of the stove meant that heat was distributed more evenly throughout the cabin. The third friend who had studied world religions disagreed with them both. He felt there was a religious motive behind the stove being made to hang from the ceiling. He pointed out that fire being lifted up had been a religious symbol since ancient times.

After a while the owner of the cabin returned and in the course of conversation they asked him the reason why he had suspended the stove. “Oh the answer is quite simple” said the trapper, “I had hardly any stove pipe for the chimney, but plenty of thick wire.” All their complicated ideas and theories, although well debated and presented, were completely wrong! The simple answer was the correct one.

And so likewise is the answer regarding how we exist! The answer to our existence, or if you prefer, “the answer to the meaning of life” isn’t complicated at all. Although so called “learned men” may come up with this or that complex theory, in reality the correct answer is the simple and obvious one; namely that we have indeed been created and designed by a Supreme Being.

Scripture further adds that what God originally created as good, beautiful and perfect has been severely damaged and marred by human sin and wickedness. Sadly “people love darkness rather than light” (John Ch3v19) and so what God originally created as lovely and good is now in a profoundly “fallen state”. (See Roman Ch8 vs18-23). This fallen condition or damage is physical, spiritual and mental and extends to every individual in the human race. This is the Biblical reason given, as to why there is so much suffering in the world. It’s the reason why there is such a thing as disease, suffering, ill health and death. It’s the reason why life is often difficult and a real struggle for many. Creation at this present time is profoundly imperfect and very different to the way it would have been if humanity had chosen to love light instead of darkness.

Thankfully, Scripture promises that after the Second Coming of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the whole created order of this planet will be restored to its former glory and perfection. As it beautifully states in Revelation Ch 21vs4, 5, “Behold I make all things new… God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

This generation more than any other is lost and confused. Although the pervading message of our time is that science has disproven God, many individuals, sense deep down that there really must be a Designer God responsible for such complexity. Moreover, many also sense that something has gone very wrong with the world, with nature and with human beings! Instead of things getting better and better in regard to human conduct, the state of our planet, and even nature itself, what they observe is quite the reverse; increasing cancer, degeneration, disintegration and decay, all of which perfectly fits the Biblical teaching of this being a “fallen creation”.

And how can individuals be sure that this is the truth? How can they find out for certain that God really exists? How do they discover that the nagging feeling they have, “that something is missing in their lives”, is actually a relationship with Him? The answer again is profoundly simple as the following incident beautifully illustrates.

Many years ago a young lad lost his deceased grandfather’s pocket watch while he was working in his dad’s ice plant. All he knew was that it must have dropped out of his pocket. Getting down on his hands and knees he started to frantically search through the ice and saw dust. The more he searched the more frantic he became. It was a treasured possession and he couldn’t bear the thought of no longer having it. Suddenly he had an idea. He stopped scurrying around and became very still and quiet. He listened carefully and in the silence he eventually heard the watch ticking!

The spiritual lesson from this touching story is that if we really want to hear God and know He is there, we can do so; but only if we totally silence and still our hearts from the background noise of self-will, intellectual pride, arrogance and self-seeking. In Deuteronomy Ch4v29 it promises “You will find the Lord if you seek for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” If a person seeks the Lord with a genuinely open mind and open heart, they will hear Him “speaking” and they will know for sure He exists. If they continue further, by developing a relationship with Him based on repentance and obedience, it will change their lives for ever.

In 2nd Timothy Ch3 v7 it warns of a certain kind of person “who is always learning but who never comes to a realisation of the truth.” This kind of individual is well-educated and intellectually gifted, but until they are willing to silence the pride and selfishness in their hearts and yield to a Creator, they will never be able to hear Him speaking and they will remain doubtful of His existence. The promise and condition is simple; “you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah Ch 29v13).