An amazing thing happened this past week in the religious community, and just in case you’ve been boycotting the news – I sure wouldn’t blame you – let me fill you in. Harvard University, which was founded in 1636 for the purpose of educating ministry students and meeting the unique educational needs of Christians, has just appointed an atheist as the school’s chaplain. The school, whose motto is “Truth for Christ and the Church,” evidently feels this is an excellent choice. As one student said, “Greg’s leadership isn’t about theology….”Apparently not!
Greg Epstein, the new chaplain and author of the book “Good Without God,” has said, “We don’t look to a god for answers. We are each other’s answers.” Yikes! That’s a scary thought. It seems to me that having a chaplain who doesn’t believe in God is something akin to a baker who doesn’t care for baked goods, a car salesman who doesn’t drive a car, or a sitting judge who abhors the law! How do you do that?!
The answer, of course, is that you don’t. If people are not looking to God for answers but instead looking to mere men – Houston, we have a problem! There have always been countless “experts” ready to offer advice on everything from family life to love and conflict – even the meaning of life itself. But really, who is best qualified to give us “life advice” but the One who created us all?! Randy Loubier notes that “God knows far more about living a life of joy and blessings than we do.” and Ronald Reagan weighed in with this: “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” Smart humans!
The Bible is a well-written instruction manual offering us the best advice for a life well-lived. The Bible is a spiritual book written by a Spiritual Being to a spiritual people. Isaiah 30:21 encourages us with this: “Your ears will hear sweet words behind you: ‘Go this way. There is your path; this is how you should go’ whenever you must decide whether to turn to the right or the left.” Without that remarkable spiritual GPS – God’s Positioning System – people are spiritually lost and will not live their best life possible!
It reminds me of that well-known 1965 song by John Lennon – Nowhere Man. If you want to listen to lyrics that go nowhere and a theme that inspires you to nothing, this is it. Take a look at part of Lennon’s song: “He’s a real nowhere man, Sitting in his Nowhere Land, Making all his nowhere plans for nobody. Doesn’t have a point of view. Knows not where he’s going to; Isn’t he a bit like you and me?”
Well – I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be within a hundred miles of Mr. Nowhere Man! The last thing I want to do is circle life like a dog continually chasing its tail. Purpose in life is always attached to direction. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that “The Lord has plans for us that are good, not for disaster, to give us a future and a hope!” He knows my best way forward!
In 1994, Northwest Airlines offered some unusual round-trip excursions. For a mere fifty-nine dollars, passengers bought a “Mystery Fare” ticket that gave them a trip to an unknown American destination. The buyers didn’t find out where they were headed until their arrival at the airport the day of the flight. Believe it or not, the airline had plenty of takers. In Indianapolis, fifteen hundred people crowded the airline counter to buy the Mystery Fare tickets.
Unfortunately, many of the buyers weren’t too happy with their uncertain destinations. Surprise! Surprise!! One buyer, who was hoping for New Orleans, found he had a ticket for Minneapolis; he walked up and down through the airport terminal yelling like an auctioneer, “I’ve got one ticket to the Mall of America – I’ll trade for anything else!” Pretty crazy – clearly a Nowhere Man!
Each human being has a Divine purpose; we are all called from mere existence to a meaningful existence. This is what the Bible calls the new life and as someone once pointed out, “It is not only the greatest mystery, but it is the greatest astonishment.” T.D. Jakes says it this way: “When we watch people fully engaged in their purpose, it’s confirmation that God has given each of us a destiny! GOD has a destiny for you! So – can we all “just say no” to Nowhere Man?! Yes – we can!
Bob and Susan Beckett Pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA. For more information, you can contact them at DPCityChurch.org.
Susan Beckett | The Dwelling Place City Church
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