Be wise and resolve this

Another trip around the sun done, and a new one just barely begun. What awaits us in this brand spankin’ new year? What achievements, what challenges, what joys, what sorrows? 

For some, this will be their last circumsolar journey because what awaits them in 2023 is their final stop. The end of the line. Their ultimate destination. I might be among that some. And so might you.

Those of us in the second half of our expected lifespan are more likely to be among the some. I find more frequently the section of our local newspaper I am most interested in is the obituaries. But no one is guaranteed another day’s leg of this journey called life, much less another year’s.

So I invite my fellow travelers on a concurrent journey, one of discovery. Just as it would be foolish to disregard the fact of our mortality – living as if our life as we know it will continue forever – to never consider why we exist at all and whether reports of life after death are credible seems foolish as well.

I embarked on that journey a few decades ago and it was the smartest thing I ever did. I wanted to know, what is life all about anyway, and is there really a God who loves me? Have you ever had a gnawing feeling that there’s more to life than filling your days with activities and pleasures until the days run out? Even if you are spending it serving others, is there any ultimate meaning to your service if we all cease to exist at death and the universe itself will eventually become cold, dark, and dead?

Pursuing answers to these existential questions may seem just one more difficult challenge in an already difficult life and not worth the effort. Surely we can live relatively happy and content without them. We can. And your children can help themselves to all the food and comforts you provide, come and go as they please, scorn their schooling and the shower, and be happy as pigs in the mud as they ignore or deny you and refuse to consider how they and all they enjoy came to be. Would you think them wise in their hedonistic contentment?

Since our very existence suggests a realm outside of the physical – the universe began to exist so had a transcendent cause – this cause must be unimaginably powerful and influential and likely has something to say about what goes on in the universe. Including our sometimes difficult, sometimes carefree lives. Would it not be unwise to disregard this element of our existence?

No New Year’s resolution has more potential for lasting benefits than a commitment to discovering why we are here, to whom we are ultimately accountable, and what if anything lies beyond the grave. The answers are out there. You just need to be willing to seek them.