God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature...” Genesis 1:26
Thoughts from a chaplain on the human search for significance and answers to make sense of hard-life events.
Please forgive my brevity.
Have you ever asked one of the following questions?
1. Where did I come from?
2. Who am I?
3. Why am I here?
4. What is my purpose?
5. Why do I suffer?
6. What happens to me when I die?
If you have, perhaps you've found your own answers? Maybe you're not satisfied by the answers you’ve discovered or been given. Some people are terrified to ask themselves these questions, so they stay preoccupied with other endeavors.
Usually and adverse life event pushes people into a journey of exploration and discovery.
Here is a reflection on one such experience I've recently encountered.
It's a fact that on one fine day we will all inevitably collide head first into the reality of our mortality, and the universe won't allow us to live in denial any longer. For the avoidant or those in denial, this is when they start asking the above mentioned questions. I suggest going to God, asking other Christians to answer your questions. Ultimately, the Bible was the greatest resource to help me understand my own suffering and how God use pain to introduce us to our purpose.
Living by the consolation of faith and the epistemic confidence (not certainty, but mystery) it gives me in answering the deeper questions mentioned above is profound. I am confident that God’s love for humanity is certain, but it remains a mystery as to how deep it really goes.
“Let us make human beings in our own image” reminds me of my divine origin, my purpose, and my eternal destiny. Now I enjoy the journey, and the bliss of being united to God (unio mystica). The illusion of separation, distance, and delay will disappear when you discover God’s proximity to your own soul.
My daily connection with God helps me to move from trauma to triumph, turning adversity into something advantageous!
My search for significance isn’t something I have to hustle for any longer. My significance isn't limited to what my mind can conjure. It's defined by God’s love for me.
My significance and purpose isn't determined or diminished by my wealth, health, education, social standing, or other imagined factors. It isn't thwarted nor halted by the unexpected events that pop up in our lives.
When I read that I am made in God’s (our, plural) image, and I am reminded of my true identity. I am a beloved son of God, not an orphaned outsider. That is significant.
Every up and coming generation will continue to ask the great questions. Some will succumb to despair, others will live in the bliss of ignorance and denial, and some will come to believe what God believes to be true about them...that they are also beloved sons and daughters of God.
Perhaps that's the answer to the great mystery of our existence and significance? We were created by love so we may return to the One who first loved us.
Be bold, ask the hard questions! Ask God to show you your significance and your purpose.
I've asked hard questions recently and been given beautiful answers from God! The promises of God are YES and AMEN (John 7:38)!
God has given me permission to live my life free from the bonds of the past, the opinions of people, and the imposed expectations of others placed upon me as a minister of the Gospel! Be free in the love of God!
Be blessed my beloved friends, until next time.
Pastor Jeremy E.