March 24, 2009

Understanding God’s purpose

31st December 2008:

We had gathered together as a church to refresh ourselves on the year that went by. It was a time to thank God for all his blessings and maybe a time to take a couple of decisions to revamp our lives. For the same purpose, we had a testimony time. Inspired by a couple of testimonies shared, I stood up to share my testimony.

There was one thing that kept inspiring me in my mind, a thought that kept provoking me to think deep, a desire to be of some use to God, a desire to know God’s will in my life, a desire to know his calling and his purpose in my life.

“I deeply desire to know his purpose, because I feel that he has called me for something important. This year I look forward to finding out his purpose in my life.” I sputtered words out in a jiffy with glaring eyes praying that the words become true.

15th February 2009:

I called back to mind those words I said almost 2 months before. It was a Sunday morning. Unprepared for the worship gathering at church, I cuddled in my seat for what was supposed to be a long one hour of worship. Pinching myself away from sleep, I put in an extra effort to hear the others speak.

Still those thoughts kept ringing back in my mind. If I am here to live for myself, why live in the social and moral upbringings of life? Maybe there is a purpose that reaches its hands out to my fellow-brethren to understand their needs, to walk their life, to feel their pain, to wipe a tear from their eyes, to bring a smile in their wrinkled faces. If there is a greater joy in living for others, a greater happiness achieved in helping my fellow-brethren, a higher satisfaction attained in imparting love, it may perhaps be my purpose.

Then someone shared a beautiful meditation from the scriptures,

“Christ had his angels to strengthen him in his time of need. Even through the hard wept tears in the garden of Gethsemane, there were his angels to strengthen him. But on the cross, not even his Father neither his angels nor would anyone console him nor strengthen him. He was left helpless in agony and grief, crying in bitter pain and sorrow with no one there to neither wipe away his tears nor extend a warm hand of love towards him…He hung there just like an orphan!”

The picture of an orphan brought mixed emotions of joy and tears in my heart. Pictures of the countless number of children around me, children who were orphans, homeless, deprived of their childhood by child-labor, begging, and hardships of life, flashed through my mind. Was this my call? Am I called to go and serve these children, to be a friend to them, to help them socially and spiritually?

This thought really inspired me. It felt like as if God was talking to me. He was slowly revealing things he has planned for me in my life. Maybe this could be a part of something greater I am called to do, or maybe this is what God wants me to do. And still on the contrary, this perhaps wouldn’t be what God has really called me for. Only time will reveal, what God has written down in the pages of my life.

But if this is what God has called me for, from today I will start the journey beginning on my knees. I will pray every day as much it is possible in me that God may keep convincing me, equipping me and preparing me for his purpose in my life.

Does God still exist? – A case for existence

It’s highly debated whether God exists or not. But it’s interesting when you take a look at the other side of the coin. Do you know why you exist? If you are here on this earth, it should obviously be for a purpose. Everything around us exists not by accident but with a purpose.

It’s on this very point few of us would argue on - the fact that the universe, evolution, man, etc. are all products of accidents and chance. But what is chance, what is an accident? An accident or a chance is a consequence of three or more people or factors involved at a same time, the third or the deciding factor of it taking place being a barrier or an obstruction. An accident never happens because two people after deciding to crash their cars together rammed into each other, but because their cars collided together due to some external or internal factor that could not be diagnosed or prevented at the required time. An accident is a direct interaction between two factors while the third factor or the deciding factor plays the role in defining it as an accident. Also an accident is something not desired at first though the product of it may or may not be pleasing. If evolution of man was a cause of an accident, what are the factors that caused the accident to happen?

The evolutionists define an accident as an outcome that was subject to the earlier event, and no longer being an accident as we think it to be. So then how is it an accident? Isn’t it just an expected process? But why is it an accident? It is because they claim that the possibilities of the event taking place are so little in an ocean of probabilities, and hence the event occurring is an accident keeping in mind that the accident was still subject to the earlier event. Here we see the accident taking place between man - the evolving animal, and the environment - the external conditions. But what was the barrier, or the accidental factor that caused the whole accident to take place?

An accident is not a desired event as discussed earlier. If evolution was an accident, was it a desired event? If the whole process is termed as an accident referring to both the evolutionist’s and creationist’s points of view, obviously, there would’ve been something else expected, something more probable to happen than probability of the evolution of man to what he is today, considering the probability of the evolution of man insignificant, and hence being termed as an accident. The whole theory of evolution is based on these facts of accidents and chances which when studied carefully are contradicting.

The basis of our existence being life is the very catalyst that distinguishes a human from a robot. Man in all his wisdom and abilities could at the most land up replicating the human body in itself. But can he give it life? Can he breathe breath into his nostrils and make it alive? I guess this is strong enough to acknowledge that man cannot in all his strength and abilities create man.

But doesn’t evolution explain the source of life? The human body without life is as good as a puppet or a sculpture. Evolution does explain how the human body evolved through millions of years and how by adaptations to the environment it perfected to what it is today. But it really doesn’t talk about how the human body got life. Look at it a bit deeper. The human body is made up millions of DNA’s that contain volumes of information. Where did the DNAs get life from? Could it all just have come to existence or evolved through time by chance? And what is chance again?

What is life? Life is defined by three things that make it so precious and unique – emotions, intelligence and purpose.

Life is exemplified through emotions and feelings. These make us different from a robot. Emotions define our lives, develop our character and give us a heart. Can the theory of evolution go further and explain how emotions, the things that add living colors to our lives, evolved through atoms and cells that are incapable of emotions? Assuredly, it’s not by chance.

Life is then defined by our ability to think. As science would put it, we are the most intelligent of all the animals. Our ability to think is governed by the circumstances around us. As infants we are void of understanding. But as we grow, our ability to think and reason sharpens, and it because of that we are asking these difficult and intellectual questions today. It is a process of maturity and evolving that sharpens our intellect and knowledge. So doesn’t evolution explain our intellect?

But to every intelligent mind there is at least an ounce of wisdom. Knowledge comes through learning but wisdom through experience. What is wisdom? Wisdom rests in the heart of him that has understanding. And understanding develops in a man that has the power to discern between right and wrong, good and bad. And good and bad is a direct indication that God exists. (How? – read at the end) If this is so, wisdom doesn’t come from an evolutionary process but is a divine gift of God.

Emotions, feelings, intelligence, wisdom all put together is what is commonly known as the soul or the conscience. Can evolution give an account of this? You and I are living masterpieces of someone so creative and wise, someone who we fail to recognize as God.

What is so special about life that makes it so complex to understand, so huge to comprehend and so exhilarating? We live from a child to a youth to an adult, walking the road of life from school, to college, to work, so that we can earn a name in this world, that we may be able to fulfill our dreams, achieve something in life, and create something new for this world and for ourselves. We all have our purposes in life and they may be so varied and vast.

But if we are here on this earth to just fulfill our purposes and die, how different are we from a robot, a computers or any other gadget that fulfills its purpose and expires? Why dream all those ambitions and sweat it hard to live it out, why ever live through all the sorrow and pain life has to offer, if our tomorrow is going to be robbed away from us unexpectedly? In that case, what have we gained or lost from life from the day we were born to the day of our death? Dust we are and to dust shall we return. “As he came forth from his mother's womb, naked shall he go again as he came, and shall take nothing for his labor, which he may carry away in his hand” (Ecc. 5:15). If there is nothing we are going to carry with us at our deathbeds, none of our merits, none of our status, what is the purpose of life? If death is the ultimate thing that is going to happen to all of us, is there any purpose in living for today, forget tomorrow? Why don’t we just die even before we take our first breath in this world?

It brings us to an essentiality that there has to be something more to life, than it just ending with death. And if that is true, it would mean that there is life after death, our lives our immortal, and there is a God who would have given us this immortal life. But, being still adamant, why can’t life just end with death? Why should there be something more to life after death? Why can’t life just be defined by just fulfilling these purposes in life?

Till now we have been looking at the purposes we have in life. But as a larger question, what is the purpose of life? Why do we have this life? Why couldn’t we be like super robots that fulfills its programmed purposes and then perishes?

To make things simpler, let’s look at an example of a computer. A computer in its smallest forms is made up of thousands of executable codes and programs. But it’s not these codes that matter to the user, but the desired output he gets when he uses the finished product. That is the main purpose of the computer.

Our life is like the computer. From the time we are born to the time of our death, we are in the process of fashioning our life through the many and varied purposes we have. It’s when we die; the purpose of our life gets accomplished. But however, like every other purpose, there has to be a result to the purpose. And if that is true, there must be a Creator, a giver of life, a God who would require these results.

There is a time and judgment to every purpose. If I create a music player, I would want it to work when I switch it on and, obviously I would want it to work well. If I purpose to do medicine as a career, I would expect it to complete it in at least 5 years after which I would expect myself to be working. Every purpose in life is accompanied by a time towards its accomplishment and a judgment towards its result. If every purpose in life fulfills this law, truly the purpose of life should also fulfill this law. And if it does fulfill this law, truly there is a God who would judge our lives at his desired time.

And what is the purpose of life? It is important to take note that the creator defines the ultimate purpose of his creation. And if God does exist, truly, the purpose of the life given to mankind is defined by him. To know the purpose, we would have to search his scriptures diligently.

Concluding the topic I would like to summarize the facts and observations I noted.

  1. Accidents cannot really happen as stated in the theory of evolution.
  2. The reality of the soul is a case for the existence of God.
  3. The purpose of our lives is proves the existence of God.

Keeping in mind all these facts, it’s wise to say that God exists.

“The very fact you exist proves that God exists!”

(Good and bad is a direct indication that God exists:-

  1. If good exists, obviously there has to bad on the other side, and vice versa.
  2. If that is true, there has to be a law that has defined the bounds of good and bad.
  3. Can the law come from man? If yes then who then gave him that law?
  4. Consequently, law doesn’t come from imaginations or opinions of man but from God.
  5. If the last step is further argued by one who claims that the law could have just come into existence by ‘chance’ or by imaginations:-
    • Good or bad is never an abstract affair, but always in relation to a person or an individual.
    • It’s always a judgment passed by someone to another.
    • Keeping that in mind, it is necessary for someone to pass a judgment of good or bad and thus, is not a product of imagination or ‘chance’.