Creeps in this
petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
(Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V, scene 5.)
This sense of purposelessness was not unique to Shakespeare. Bertrand Russell said:
"Brief and powerless is Man’s life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom
falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction,
omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way; for Man, condemned to-day to lose
his dearest, to-morrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness, it remains
only to cherish, ere yet the blow falls, the lofty thoughts that ennoble his
little day; disdaining the coward terrors of the slave of Fate, to worship at
the shrine that his own hands have built; undismayed by the empire of chance, to
preserve a mind free from the wanton tyranny that rules his outward life;
proudly defiant of the irresistible forces that tolerate, for a moment, his
knowledge and his condemnation, to sustain alone, a weary but unyielding Atlas,
the world that his own ideals have fashioned despite the trampling march of
Bertrand Russell is now dead, after living 98 years, a miserable liberal humanist philosopher. He could be considered both atheistic and agnostic. But, suffice it to say, all would consider him dead. Though he is dead, the ideas he propounded with great success still live, for he was very influential in our modern world.
Every man has considered our reason for existence on Earth, however briefly. If you are a Christian, then you admit that whatver the reason is for our existence, that reason is contained in the mind of a Higher Power, a God... the God of the Universe.
Romans 11:34 For who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has been his counselor?
We can't stretch God out on the couch here and probe his mind to discover what His reasons might be. We are not His counselor or His psychologist.
1 Corinthians 2:16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Can we know the mind of Christ?
Ephesians 1:9-10 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things
in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
The Greek word translated as "gather together in one all things" means literally "head. It's used the same in our phrase, "to head up."
Children "do sums." But, what is the object of adding one number to another repeatedly? They don't continue to do sums without reason, or at least they don't want to. What is the purpose of counting, if not merely the adding itself? There must be an end to the rote counting somewhere, a reason or purpose for the adding process. The sum is where it's at. The sum heads it up. Without a sum to head it up or end the counting, the whole business becomes meaningless.
Psalms 39:4 LORD, make me to know my end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.
David asked to know a reason for the number of his days. Back to the Ephesians passage, here we find that the sum is Christ Jesus. Jesus is the sum total, the head, the end of all things.
Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
All humanity is looking for a reason to believe, something worth living and dying for. Here you have purpose and reason, all inside Jesus Christ.
Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Can we find reason in the Universe? What is its end? What is it that will make a "sum" of our years when the tale is told? Jesus is the fullness of all things in the New Testament. But, look at the words "in him" in the Ephesians passage. That gives social meaning to our Universe. We are in Him. We have a purpose "in Jesus Christ!" Humanity being one with Jesus Christ is what the Universe is all about! The humanists see only the human side of this equation. But, man alone is meaningless. Are you in Christ? If not, can I ask why you are here? What are you doing here anyways? We've all heard the joking expression, "Well pardon me for living. Stop the world and I will jump off!" That is a funny parallel to driving. But, one day we all will come to the end of our ride, the sum of our days. At the point our life comes to a head, then we will meet Jesus, who is the head of all things.
I said we could not analyze the mind of God like a Counselor on a couch. But, we can find our answers in Scripture, which contain the mind and will of God. We can pray and ask God whatever we want to know, and He is faithful to answer our questions. We may not like all His answers, but He gives such as is sufficient for our earthly minds.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.
Colossians gives us the idea that we can get answers for others from Jesus, who is the source of this salt. (See Matthew 5 on the salt.)
Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
In Colossians we are told that God can give us the knowledge of His will through prayer. Look back at the last of Shakesphere's words above. "...signifying nothing." The equal sign is the sign of the sum. Our life in Christ equals purpose. We have reason in Jesus Christ. In the fullness of times, when all is made known, then we will hear the sum total of the matter.