Monday, 18 August 2014

The meaning of life?

‘Does anybody know what we are living for?’ asks Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, in the lyrics of the last song on their album, ‘The Miracle’.

Millions are implicitly asking just that question.  Jonathan Gabay, a professional writer, aged thirty-one, facing employment challenges and problems with stress and health hit rock bottom.  He began to ask questions about the meaning of life.  He wrote to people in all walks of life: world leaders, the homeless, Oscar-winning actors, philosophers, comedians, taxi-drivers, teachers, explorers and prisoners on death row.  He even wrote to me!

Gabay compiled a book of our responses, together with others who had attempted, over time, to answer this question.  They include the following:

‘Life is one crisis after another.’  Richard Nixon

‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.’  John Lennon

‘Life is what you make it – and I can make it UNBEARABLE!’  Dennis the Menace

‘The man who regards his life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unhappy but hardly fit for life.’  Albert Einstein

Numerous people replied that the meaning and purpose of life was to be found in Jesus Christ.  Not only Mother Theresa and Billy Graham, but actors, scientists, the Lord Chancellor at the time and the Chief Cashier of the Bank of England, Graham Kentfield (whose signature was on every current banknote).  He said, ‘I am clear that the meaning of life can only be properly understood in the context of our relationship with God.’

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