Your life is not a series of random events or sequences of unrelated decisions. You have a story. You have a purpose. For many of us, this can be hard to swallow. Our lives can seem so mundane. We wake up, eat breakfast, take the kids to school, go to work, come home, eat dinner then go to bed, all to repeat the following day and the years afterward. But ask yourself, is that all there is to life? Oh to be sure, we need to eat, kids need education and we must be productive members of society, but in all that is there any room for a sense of transcendence or wonder?
The Biblical answer is yes. According to the Biblical worldview, you were created for something more and it is rooted in what it means to be human. To all my Presbyterian friends out there you will remember the answer to the Westminster Shorter Catechism question #1 which reads, “What is the purpose of man?” and the answer, “To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” The Bible puts it this way, “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). The emphasis on glory is synonymous with the feeling of transcendence, or to think or be about something greater than yourself. This desire for something more, something transcendent, was put into our nature by God and is evidenced all around us. For example, how many of us get a rush when given the opportunity to ski Mission Ridge, or have our breath taken away at the sunrise peeking over the neighboring mountains or were inspired to be involved in politics with the intention of doing something good for the community? We all feel those things to a certain degree and reflecting back on the last column, evolved sacks of goo do not appreciate beauty, only individuals that have been created by God and in His own image. He has not designed you to be fully satisfied with self-preservation or self-gratification. God has intended for us to have a much broader focus and much bigger vision of reality, namely the pursuit of transcendence.
If we are to look in the creation account of Genesis 1 and 2, we see that Adam and Eve were created and placed in a garden. However, even in this garden of paradise they were given a purpose that was beyond themselves. In the first great commission, God had instructed the two to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.”(Gen. 1:28). In essence, Adam and Eve were given the vision of something bigger and the capacity to do it. But if we were to follow the story in Genesis 3, we see that our first parents took a nose dive and when tempted that they would “be like God”(Gen. 3:5), they fell in that temptation and so did the human race. Saint Augustine said that “pride is the root of all sin.” And it is that looking inward that was Adam and Eve’s downfall, and ours as well. Here God had given them a vision of the amazing purpose He had for them, something that was above and outside of themselves and yet they traded all of that for something small, fulfilling the pride within themselves.
We are no different than Adam and Eve. We settle for things way too easily. We trade transcendence and purpose for things that are immediately satisfactory, like bigger houses or better jobs. We lose sight of being tied to glory as God intended, for us to magnify something much more greater than ourselves. It is because of sin that although we talk a lot of transcendence, we rarely achieve it, because we are so tied to the here and now.
What are you living for? Does your life match the story that God has intended for you? Or have you settled for something far less? If you have lived for this life only, then you are missing out on something far grander than you could possibly dream. Can I invite you to lift up your eyes and see the hope of glory? It is there, you just have to be willing to look.