What do I know for certain? That you can’t ever stop thinking. Also, one should lead with his thoughts, not his feelings. Yet, thinking cannot operate without a constant ear to the heart, because, after all, we are not mere machines: we were given a mind, a heart and a soul. Three points of reference that we must triangulate to find our direction. A base of operations made of three components.
Everything that we have was given to us. Did WE create our bodies? Did WE create the cosmos? Our very lives, our beings, our awareness and our minds were a gift. Everything that we claim as our own is on loan, because we created none of it.
Does ANYthing belong to us? Yes, our choices. The biggest choice: what we choose to do with our hearts, our souls and our minds. That choice isn’t just made every day, or even every hour, but every moment! Moment to moment. That’s a sobering thought! Moment to moment. That makes you stop and listen! To consider. To ponder. To wonder!
Four serious questions come to mind.
WHY am I alive?
WHY am I given choices?
WHAT are the right choices?
HOW do I make the right choices?
Wouldn’t you say that WHAT & HOW are derivatives of WHY? If we get the WHY wrong then everything else misses the mark.
Let’s take atheism as an example. If there is no God, then there is no WHY. Therefore it doesn’t matter WHAT we do or HOW we do it! It’s all a matter of opinion! If the universe exists due to a purely undirected, material process it cannot have, by definition, a purpose or a reason, therefore it cannot have a WHY.
What about Hinduism? If everything is an illusion then everything is equally invalid: it’s all dependent upon each individual’s hallucination! Once again it doesn’t matter WHAT we do or HOW we do it.
Pantheism? Everything is God. Since everything and everyone is God then doesn’t it follow that everyone and everything is also WHY? Isn’t that the same thing as saying that nothing is true because everything is true?! How do you build a house on that quicksand?! If that were so, wouldn’t it be logical to conclude that it doesn’t matter WHAT we do or HOW we do it?!
Deism? Now we have a source for WHY (at least for the physical universe). God. Deism concedes there must be one, uncaused cause for the cosmos and everything material (the Big Bang), but it’s not a personal intelligence that cares about you and I. We were created, but WHY? If not by accident, then for what purpose? Abandoned to go it alone and fend for ourselves this force must be cold, uncaring and devoid of feelings. Why else were we left naked and alone on a remote island planet in an obscure section of the universe with only a Swiss army knife (our minds)? Without guidelines or direction aside from the fear and pain of starvation, suffering and death, our reason for life appears to be a cruel experiment to see if we can develop the grim self-reliance necessary to negotiate and survive this cold and hostile universe. The WHY appears to be survival merely for the sake of survival.
Theism. A volitional God that made a choice to create you, me and the cosmos. The WHY is answered by the character of God himself, which varies dramatically between the three main types of Theists: Muslim, Jewish and Christian. On one hand we have the cold, uncaring Deistic-like God of the Muslims. While on the other we have an infinitely just yet infinitely loving God who took upon himself the death sentence we earned. He stepped down from His throne in heaven, became human in the person of Jesus and suffered the humiliation and pain of the cross in our place. WHY? Because He loves us.
WHY am I alive? -Because God loves me.
WHY am I given choices? -So that I can freely choose or not choose to love God of my own free will, and to accept the free gift of Salvation.
WHAT are the right choices? -To love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
HOW do I make the right choices? -With humility, reverence and gratitude for the undeserved grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.