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Outside the box

December 2010 | by Peter Anderson

Outside the box

 

It was C. S. Lewis who said that, ‘Over the lives of some people at the end of life’s journey could be written the words, fine performance but you missed the whole point’.

     So many think making a living is far more important than making a life. We live within our ‘box’ and rarely venture out of it to try to answer the questions ‘Who am I?’, ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘Where am I going?’

     Our civilisation is like the aeroplane pilot who when asked by one of his passengers, ‘Where are we?’ replied, ‘At the moment we are lost, but we are making good time’. Ann Landers said in the Reader’s Digest, ‘No one puts it in so many words, but there is a feeling today that we might as well live it up fast because tomorrow never comes’.

 

Answers needed

 

So what about those questions? We live in a scientific age, but science cannot tell us the deepest meaning to life. Science has enabled man to fly to the moon, but it cannot bridge the problems man so often has with his fellow man.

     It can blow up bridges and mend broken bodies, but cannot mend broken hearts. There are deep dimensions completely outside its jurisdiction. So where do we go for the answers? Is it not time to look outside ‘our box’, and into the box of the Christian faith?  

     For many people, Christianity is like an antique chair in the British Museum – a curious relic of the past, but of no practical use today. But don’t dismiss it lightly, for it gives real explanations of the meaning and purpose of life, and the place God wants in our lives.

     We are grateful for helpful scientific discoveries, but science has its limitations. Education plays a big part too, but, as the Duke of Wellington once said many years ago, ‘If we educate children without a knowledge of God, we will only create clever devils’! If we educate minds without hearts, we produce a generation with much knowledge but lacking wisdom how to use it.

     Politicians make big claims about changing our society for the better and we can certainly do with a better society. However, all the political changes in the world cannot make men love one another.

    

Living water

 

Some believe that Christians ought above all to get involved in resolving the social and political problems of our world, before bothering about such intangibles as faith, forgiveness and trusting in God.

     But to be living in a world of new and exciting technology, without the presence of God to help us harness it for good, is fraught with terrible possibilities. No one said more than Jesus about ‘loving your neighbour’, and no one was more concerned about feeding the hungry than he. But he knew that the root of our problems is spiritual, and material things cannot meet that need. He said that ‘Man shall not live by bread alone’.

     For all man’s vaunted technological progress, we haven’t satisfied the deepest longings of the human heart. The psychologist Adler tells us that above everything else in life, man needs significance, security and love – and Jesus Christ meets all of these needs.

     Just over 2000 years ago, he claimed that he is the ‘water of life’ and all who come to him and drink shall never thirst again (John 4:14). He still is that water, and spiritually thirsty men and women of the 21st century who come to him still find spiritual satisfaction.

     A personal Christian faith is of the greatest relevance and value even in 2010. So why not come out of your box and take a look?

Peter Anderson

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Evangelistic