Our beliefs have lead us to the strange place we find ourselves now. Many mornings I walk out the side door, watch a family patriarch pass by on horseback, look down to see baby chicks peeping, smile and wave to our little three-year-old neighbor, brush the growling puppy off my pant leg, smell the woodsmoke from traditional stoves, glare at the clouds waiting for the dry season to end, and I just sit down.

I sit there and I think the ancient question. Why? Why am I here? I have an answer.

I have passed long months, years actually, without being able to answer that question. I have sat unfilled in the office chair, making decent money, living comfortably, doing okay work, getting into the car I wanted so badly, driving home to my beautiful, loving wife, opening my Bible in the morning and evening and serving people around me to some degree. I had faith. I had work. I had my money, family, car, even passions. But it still wasn't enough. You see, you can understand something, you can even react to it with some degree of passion, but there is no substitute for giving it all up.

In Christianity, there is the concept of the "law that gives freedom." For me, many other believers, and nearly all non-Christians, this idea often rings as ridiculous. But over time, I am beginning to understand that only by our willingly and freely relinquishing control of our lives to a capable and all-encompassing goodness can we ever truly be free. Because we're all slaves, as much as we, especially us raised under the red, white, and blue, fail to acknowledge it. Our desires, our confusion, our mixed feelings and even our dreams quietly slip in and capture us. And before we can even cry out, we're done. Life has passed by and we didn't even resist. We peacefully followed the path that our silent chain led us down.

I have passed sleepless nights, hanging on my chain over the pit of sweet existential doubt. Our proximity to the pit brings us clarity; the closer we come to the edge, the clearer things become. As we doubt our being and question our deepest assumptions, two possible answers emerge from the darkness, and a choice must be made. We are confronted with the only two options: I exist for a reason or I exist for nothing. Our choice is then in our reaction.

Should we decide that our lives have no meaning, we must respond accordingly. Should we truly accept that we have no significance, that we have not been created for a purpose, but have instead risen from nothing for nothing, then our only logical response is hedonism. Should existence have no purpose, why should we treat it as if it does--for a meaningless future? However, we exist in a culture full of moral expectations and principles that we insist on forcing onto others. "No!" our culture cries out, "I believe each person has the right to choose what is right for him or her." But do we really? Or is genocide always wrong and there is a moral responsibility to oppose it? If we do believe that, then why? If our understanding is that there is no absolute overriding principle, why do continue to treat humans as if they have innate value? Why should we respond to humanitarian crises? We lie to ourselves when we live as if people have value when inside we know that they do not.

However, should we, in our trip to the pit, admit to ourselves, no, accept that we do have meaning, that we exist with purpose, then we must respond to this truth. Whatever this truth is, whatever this meaning may be, we have an obligation to ourselves, as seekers of truth, to do everything in our power to respond to its principle and purpose, and no amount of half-hearted partial commitment will do.

Should any part of this discourse interest you, please read The Reason for God by Tim Keller. He takes a much more intelligent, comprehensive look at some of the logic and philosophy that surrounds Christianity and discussed here briefly.


  1. Beautiful. man. Just beautiful!

    It does concern me that here in the "red, whit, blue and green" that more and more people seem to be acting consistently in their belief in no absolutes. The Philly abortionist trial has really brought some out of the wood work.

    I still need to read Reason for God. Right now I'm reading CS Lewis' Cosmic Trilogy. Don't know if you've read it, but it is very thought provoking. This really hit home: “The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.”

  2. Kaleb, I appreciate your love for driving right to the heart of significance instead of giving in to the fleeting distractions in this world. It's not easy and means living with the tension of the now and not yet.

    We love you and Stacey and appreciate that the words you speak and write and the things you do in Las Lomitas are for the glory of God.