Thursday, November 6, 2008

Who Doesn't Love a Good GPS?

"Why are we here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come."   ~from Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

As I sit down this morning to write this post, I think back over the years of my life.  I think back to two questions that have tortured me; two questions that I have desperately sought the answers to.  The first: Who am I?  The second: Why am I here?

Admittedly, my search for answers has led me down many paths and to many a bookshelf.  I've read books on evolutionary theory, creationism, intelligent design.  I've turned to authors such as: Beckett, Sartre, Heidegger, Neitzche, and Kierkegaard. 

My journey, and search, was not an emotional one.  I'm not an overly emotional human being.  In fact, I find empathy and sympathy to be incredibly difficult.  Emotional arguments do not appeal to me.  Neither do arguments that have no supporting facts.  Somewhere along the course of that journey, I began to find answers to my questions.  I began to understand who I was, and (at least to some degree) why I am here.

My questions for you are: 1) Have you undertaken a similar journey? 2) What persons/authors/philosophies did you encounter along the way? and, 3) Have you found satisfactory answers to those questions of identity and purpose?

1 comment:

James said...

1) Yes. 2) Originally I was raised in a fundamentalist Southern Baptist home, so that was my initial belief. Later, I would travel to Asia and learn of Confucianism and Buddhism. I read classics by Leo Tolstoy and St. Thomas Aquinas. I read Christian authors conservative and progressive, from Josh McDowell and Rick Warren to Rob Bell and Chris Hedges. Eventually I would come across a couple of books that would help gather my own thoughts into coharent world view and belief.

The first book that was life changing for me was "Jesus for President" by Shane Claiborne. This book starts with a Biblical narrative and goes on to offer an alternative Christian world view. This book pieced together all the conclusions I had come to about the state of Christianity and the Church today. I also read "The Irresistible Revolution" and it's good, too. It puts action to faith.

The other book that was life changing for me was "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller. This book is "non-religious thoughts on Christian spiritually." This book talked about faith in a real, candid, and personal way.

3) Yes and no. Yes, in the way that I'm sure of the foundations of my faith and world view, but no in the sense that I feel I will always want to learn more. The more I learn, the more I know that I don't know much. The more I learn, the more questions I have. Never stop questioning and learning.