Have you ever looked up into the vast night sky and gazed into space? We here in Singapore aren’t as blessed as many of our brothers and sisters are, living in areas where there is so much land that they can just go into open spaces where there is less lights illuminating the sky, allowing the brightness of the millions of stars to overwhelm the star gazer. I remember going to Tasmania quite a few years ago, and in venturing out of the room at night, happened to look up and was just floored at how beautiful the stars were that night. If any of you readers happen to live where gazing into a vast night sky is possible without the use of a telescope, I’d encourage you to do that, and ponder the question – why do we exist? Of all the stars, planets and solar systems out there, why are you given the life that you have right now?
Our faith tells us that we are not made on the whim and fancy of some creator who arbitrarily decided to give us (and everything else, for that matter) life. Our faith reminds us, through the Word, that God has a great plan in store for us when he created. He created us out of love, and for love, and rightly, to glorify God. In other words, we were loved into being. In fact, the very act of a marriage consummation is itself a testimony of life being something that comes out of love.
But the question remains – did we need to be created by God? Is God in himself complete, and sufficient without our being created? He has to be. If God can experience a lack, an insufficiency, or any kind of incompletion, he would not be God. He would need something else, or someone else to ‘complete’ him. But God has to be in himself, always complete. In our reflection of life, I am sure that our view of the world and our attitude toward life itself will change for the better when we come to see that God did not create us for himself, but so that we could participate in his divine life. In other words, God made us for our sakes, and not for his. Life in God, life in the Trinity was (and is) so complete, so overwhelmingly beautiful that the life of God bubbles over into more and more love, and more and more life.
I happened to watch an episode of a documentary recently entitled “I shouldn’t be alive”. Each episode apparently features the very dramatic and near-death experience of one person, and how this person survived that particular life-threatening situation. The one I watched featured how an experienced sportswoman who went on a training run alone in the wilderness encountered an accident and fell a great height, shattering her pelvis. Through several days of keeping herself from slipping into unconsciousness, she managed to keep awake till she was found by the authorities and brought to medical help, and to life. Indeed, under such treacherous circumstances, a person like this lady recounting such an incident should say, “I shouldn’t be alive”.
When we find ourselves pondering over our lives, our very existence, and the ‘why’ that we are here at all, I believe that our lives will change, our attitudes towards our enemies, our refraining from acts of forgiveness and kindness will soften the moment we come to the realization that we should not be created at all, but we were. That there is no need for us to “be” should floor us, perhaps like the way that night sky floored me that night in Tasmania. But the fact that we are, the fact that we exist, shows the grace of God at work, and the tremendous act of God’s mercy.
May we not need to be found in the ‘jaws of death” in order for us to appreciate greatly that we have been formed in the loving “hands of God”.