We make many decisions in our life. Often, children are asked in America, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I can’t believe adults are serious about this. Maybe they are just making conversation with a child. It does show the underlying belief Americans have in freedom, so that’s good. But to have your whole life planned out as a child? I don’t think so.
But there are big decisions to be made. And some prefer a middle position on things. They would rather remain on the sidelines waiting to see what happens. But in one decision, these sidelines do not exist. And there are passionate voices to be heard. “God does not exist!” “God is so wonderful.” Waiting on the sidelines seems to be a safer place. But try and find those sidelines.
One approach is to be agnostic. “I don’t know if God exists.” It sounds safe, a neutrality, perhaps. But, you must go further. You must say, “It is impossible to know if God exists.” This could be your exemption. But, others are so sure of his existence. Your stronger statement is unlikely to be true.
To be neutral is above all to be a sceptic. It is not just indifference, not an unwilling suspense because you must believe something. Do you doubt everything? Do you doubt your consciousness? Are you just dreaming it all? Or do you doubt your own existence?
You can’t go that far, so no one is a complete sceptic. You do believe something but how do you know it is true? What assures you?
If no God exists, what then is man? A novelty of the universe? Man is a contradiction. He is a prodigy and a judge of all things. But, no, his hold on truth turns to uncertainty in a moment. He is proud and strong. Yet, his weakness becomes apparent so easily.
Who will unravel this riddle that is man? What do you become, when you try to find out by your natural reason what is your true condition? You cannot avoid claiming knowledge or remaining in doubt. Yet, you remain a paradox to yourself.
Humble yourself, put off weak reason; silence foolish nature; and learn that man infinitely transcends man. You have a Master who reveals your true condition, of which you are ignorant. Hear God.
If there was no corruption of the original, men would enjoy in their innocence both truth and happiness with assurance; and if man had always been corrupt, he would have no idea of truth or bliss.
And if there were no greatness in our condition, we would have no concept of the ideal. We would not reach for it and discover we cannot attain it. We are incapable of absolute ignorance and of certain knowledge. Why? Because we had a degree of perfection from which we have unhappily fallen.
There are no observers among men who stand on the sidelines of the human race. All ground is included. The state of man without God is misery that turns despondent and finally becomes despair.
The man who thinks himself God, for without God he must become his own god, has nagging doubts that echo through his soul. He makes himself like iron but then becomes brittle and cracks under the pressure of life. In making his own life, he finds no life at all within that will maintain it.
Man is made and he must find his Maker. He must discover what went wrong with mankind. Not for curiosity, but because it affects him deeply.
When he looks inside himself, he finds so much, yet not enough. What is missing? How can it be restored? Only God can answer this. Only he can put inside what will stop the wrongness and begin making all things new.