I read The Prospect of My Arrival, a quirky, philosophical little sci-fi novel about an embryo who gets a chance to “preview” life and decide if he wants to be born or not. I didn’t particularly like the book- but the concept was intriguing. Would Earth, Life, be enticing enough to convince this being to be? Would the pros outweigh the cons? I won’t tell you what happened– but it was one of those books that got under my skin. I mean, I can’t say that I enjoyed it; it was uncomfortable at times. But it’s had me thinking for days now.
There are times when I am overwhelmed with what it means to be alive, to be human. It’s extraordinary to be what we are, in this world. The uniqueness, the ingenuity, the perseverance — the millions of moments of kindness and creativity and loveliness of life–
Sometimes it takes my breath away. I scramble with pen or camera or mind, trying to memorize the details. But we can’t, really, can we? There’s no method to preserve Life and Time that even comes close to the real thing.
The sweetness is in the living, in the experiencing.
But, not every taste of life is sweet- we learn that early, don’t we? There are so many broken things in this world- so much to hurt over and fear and abhor– I see them, too. It’s sad, and scary.
But, beneath that, above it, behind it, within it– there is joy and goodness that we cannot escape.
The government is going to pot, but my cat still smiles a kitty smile when I rub her warm, fuzzy belly.
Waters are polluted, the legal system corrupted, but my baby is still adorable when he tries to wink at me with both eyes.
There are the homeless and sick and orphaned and abused, but there are also the compassionate and selfless and heroic and generous.
There is darkness, and evil. But there is light, and good.
The world could be a lot, lot worse. We could all be starving, repressed, miserable. Societies have existed as such– it’s not unthinkable.
But you know, cats would still smile. Babies would still wink. You would still find compassion and heroism and generosity.
Because good never goes away completely. The Light is never extinguished entirely.
Life is always worth living.
As Christians, we know it, we’re attuned to it. It’s a message we bear to the world, that every good thing comes from above. All these flickers of joy and goodness in Life are reflections of Him, who overcame the darkness. Smiling cats, winking babies, whatever makes you smile and wonder and laugh– they exist because He Won. He broke Death. He killed Sin.
We are living in the death throes of darkness, my friend.
So, we could waste our time, wringing our hands, fearing the shadows, staring into the abyss, wondering if life is even worth living– or we could watch the way the wind blows the dandelions and rest in the truth of John 1:5.
I choose dandelions.