I’m Going to Tell You a Story

Once there was a man…

This man built a spaceship, and travelled the galaxy. He even figured out how to travel outside his galaxy to see other ones. This man was looking for something, but he wasn’t sure what it was. No one else really knew what it was, either.

Some people thought the man was crazy. Some people thought he was perfectly sane. Some people weren’t sure what they thought. Many people thought he was looking for life on another planet. Others thought he had an extreme case of wanderlust.

But the man had an idea of what he sought. He was looking for purpose. He wanted to know where everything came from, and he thought sometimes that he might even be looking for God.

The man had been taught that everything was the cause of a big bang, a cosmic accident with no apparent cause. Matter simply exploded into existence in a bright burst that set the universe into motion. But this man also had a friend who told him that this was not the case, but that there is a God who created everything. There is a God who set the stars in motion. There is a God who set the atoms in motion. There is a God who created time, space, matter and energy. There is a God, and only one.

The man didn’t understand. Everything he knew about the laws of the universe stated that there must be a cause for everything. Things don’t just happen by themselves; something or someone has to act for something to happen. It would make sense for God to be a cause, for God to create everything. But why?

His friend had told him that God created everything because He wanted to. God wants to love people, and wants them to love Him in return. God wants us to exist.

But the man couldn’t stop asking why. Why would God want us to exist? I’ve seen us. We are not very nice people. For all the good things we seem to have done, we’re not very good people, and we certainly aren’t important. Look at the scale of the universe! We don’t even know how big it is, but we do know that it is enormous. Judging by that, why would we be important? Why would we be special to God?

We live in a box, people say. But that implies that there is something outside of it. There can’t ever be Nothing on the outside of a box. You can’t have a box unless there is something outside of it, otherwise what holds the box together? It can’t hold itself together, because if there is truly nothing outside of it, the void would pull it apart. The box would deteriorate; it would explode into shreds of chaos, leaving Nothing to put it back together.

So the man would ask himself, “What is outside of the box?”

Can I find the edges of the box? Can I see the outside of the box? Is any of that possible? If it isn’t, what does that mean?

The man travelled as far as he could, but always felt the need to return home once in a while. He found that his home on Earth was the best place to observe certain things, as if it was placed in just the right spot on purpose. But no matter where he was in his travels, the man noticed that the laws of physics were still the same. Galaxies spun, celestial bodies orbited, everything obeyed the same natural laws. Someone had to have done that on purpose… That can’t just be an accident, can it?

The man’s friend continued to tell him about God, and that he didn’t have to go looking for Him. God is everywhere all at the same time, so you don’t have to find the edge of the box to find Him.

The man felt desperate, but he listened to his friend. He hadn’t found anything new in his travels. He hadn’t found anything he didn’t already know. But he had found so many things that made him feel a wide range of emotions and feelings.

The man saw the bigness of his part of the universe and knew that there was more. This left him in silent awe.

The man saw the same natural laws applied everywhere he went. This made perfect sense yet confused him at the same time.

The man saw spiral galaxies that reminded him of fingerprints – and they were all over the place. This disturbed him.

Every star, every atom, everything this man saw seemed to have a signature on it. There was a common designer – there had to be. Why else would everything have such order? Why else would there be so many common things? Why?

The man’s friend told him often that all he had to do was talk to God. It is possible to talk with God, Himself, all you have to do is as Him to speak with you. But the man felt held back. He knew he wasn’t good enough. He knew he was less that a speck of dust in the vastness of the universe.

But his friend told him that it didn’t matter how small he was. “God loves you no matter what. God made you on purpose, and He pays attention to you.”

Finally the man let it sink into his mind that his friends was telling him the truth. But now he was afraid. “The God of the universe, the very God who created everything and has the power to do anything He wants with it, pays attention to me.”

“But He loves you at the same time,” his friend reminded him. “You can’t be good enough on your own, but God loves you so much that He made a way for you to be good enough in His sight. Yes, God has enormous power and can snuff out the entire universe at whim, but He doesn’t. He doesn’t do it because He loves you. So because you know His strength and His love, you can trust Him.”

“But how do I know that?”

“Because God sent His own Son to die. Jesus died willingly. He sacrificed Himself, He paid your debt, so that you could be clean and good enough in the sight of God.”

The man thought long and hard about what his friend had said, and wondered why he couldn’t just let that into his own thick skull.

But then he finally did.

He was alone on his spaceship, orbiting the Earth and staring at the stars. He spoke to God for the first time.

“You… You’re the One who made all this. You made even me… I’ve been told why but… I still don’t understand. Am I supposed to understand? Is that something I must understand to know you?”

No. No, it is not.

“Then what do I need to do?”

The man paused. He remembered what his friend had told him. He knew exactly what he needed to do. He suddenly felt very, very small. He got on his knees.

“So… many… years, I’ve wondered why. But all this time all I needed to know was Who. I know who You are, and I know who I am. You are ultimate good. I am corrupt and evil. I’ve tried to do good, but that’s not enough. It’s not enough because You are so good and holy that I can’t possibly be good enough. But you made a way – a path for me to walk so that I can be good enough in Your sight.”

The man stared out at the stars. “I want it. I want to be clean, to be good enough. I want to return this love You’re giving me. I am so… wrong… so filthy. Please take that away from me. Take that away and put something else in its place. Please give me a purpose! I know I have one, I must have one! Why else would I be here? Why else would You create me? I want a purpose.”

Then you have it.

For the first time in his life, the man knew exactly what he needed to do. He was new, he was alive, and he felt like he could see for the first time. He had to tell someone, and then tell someone else, and then another person, and another after that. He had to show others Who gives life a purpose. He had to do it for the rest of his life, and he wanted to! He knew that this is what he wanted. He knew there is a purpose, and he knew others needed to know it, too.

So for the rest of his life, the man showed others what God is like. He told everyone he met about the meaning and purpose of life.

There is a God.

So there is a reason, there is a purpose.

So you have a purpose.

So go. Go fulfill it.

When God Is Silent

Church is a good place to learn things. When the Word of God is preached clearly and correctly, you can hear God speak.

Daily Bible reading is a good way to learn things. When you read the Bible with the intention to listen to whatever God tells you, you can hear God speak.

But what about when God is silent? Am I not listening, or is He really not speaking?

If you are not listening, you’ll know that. Much like a child who is trying to ignore his or her parents, you will know if you are purposefully not listening. It’s not a nice feeling.

But what if you are listening and you just can’t hear anything? Is God no longer on speaking terms?

Let me tell you about some things I learned in church and from the people in it.

Do not take God’s silence for apathy or inactivity.

God speaks at the appropriate time – when it is the perfect time to speak. He’s not ignoring you, He’s just waiting for things to be just right. Sometimes silence is used to emphasize what is said next. Silence lets you know that the words are important.

God speaks in unlikely and sometimes even mysterious ways. He may tell you something Himself, He may have someone else tell you. He may just show you something. He may do none of these and surprise you. Don’t limit God. He’s very creative.

God speaks in answer to our prayers. He doesn’t always do it when we think He should, or even how we think He should, but He does answer. Remember, God is very creative.

God speaks to bring us joy! When God tells you something good, doesn’t it just fill you up with jubilant joy? Your joy bucket just sloshes joy all over everything!

God speaks to challenge our faith and silence our doubts. Trust Him. He knows what He’s doing. When you trust God, you will be stronger for it. You will know from personal experience that God actually can do what He says He can do, and it will be easier to trust Him another time.

God speaks to accomplish His eternal purpose! When God speaks and does something, it is always in line with His plan for eternity. Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” God has “before ordained.” That means He already knows what is going to happen and why, and He is working it all for good.

When God is silent, listen up! He’s about to say something life-changing!

Here We Go

It is time. It is time for me to get this started. It is time for this to get going!
So welcome to the journey, friend!
It is a new year, and I am going to start and continue this blog. It should not have taken me this long, but here it goes – and it had better go, because this is important! It will probably take me a while to figure out some of the finer details, and I will probably be a bit clumsy at first, but I am going to do this.
I have plans and ideas for this little space I’ve got here. I’ll probably tell you stories about things that happen to me. There will be some serious things, maybe even some deep things for you to learn from. There will be some humorous things and witty thoughts, and probably some stupid things. Maybe it will be the good kind of stupidity that makes you laugh. If it isn’t… well, I should be able to fix that.
Also, I want you to participate! Feel free to give comments and discuss things with me and others. But be advised that this is to be a place of civil discussion. Be polite. Tell the truth, of course, but tell it in love and care for your fellow human. I’d like this to be a place where anyone can come and discuss anything without feeling like everyone hates them.
I want people to see God here.