Humans arose, rather, as a fortuitous and contingent outcome of thousands of linked
events, any one of which could have occurred differently and sent history on an alternate
pathway that would not have led to consciousness.
Dr. Stephen Jay Gould, Scientific American, October 1994, p. 86.
In 1979, a study was done among teenagers in Sweden, who were asked to respond to the
statement, "I think the following could give my life more meaning..." Of those
surveyed, eighty-seven percent thought that meaning could be found in a good job,
eighty-five percent thought it could be found in a marriage partner, and eighty-four
percent thought it could be found in sports and recreation. Only fifteen percent thought
that reading the Bible and prayer could help, and another fifteen percent indicated that
they thought alcohol could help.
About eight percent considered the question of the meaning of life important, yet
eighty percent considered it unimportant whether Jesus existed as a man on earth or not.
Also, eighty-five percent considered it unimportant whether Jesus is the Son of God or
not. A full seventy-five percent concluded that the question of God's existence is
Jim Peterson, Living Proof, NavPress, 1989,
The Donahueite world-view is of a linear life. When a certain number of years have
elapsed, it's over. Period. It's a pathetic picture, and one people seldom look at unless
it is forced upon them -- as it was with poignancy and wit in City Slickers. While this
movie may not rank among the great morality plays of all time (and some would find parts
of the film offensive), it certainly drives the point home, along with the cattle.
Comedian Billy Crystal plays the part of a bored baby boomer who sells radio
advertising time. One the day he visits his son's school to tell about his work along with
other fathers, he suddenly lets loose a deadpan monologue to the bewildered youngsters in
Value this time in your life, kids, because this is the time in your life when you
still have your choices. I goes by fast.
When you're a teenager, you think you can do anything and you do. Your twenties are a
Thirties you raise your family, you make a little money, and you think to yourself,
"What happened to my twenties?"
Forties, you grow a little pot belly, you grow another chin. The music starts to get
too loud, one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother.
Fifties, you have a minor surgery -- you'll call it a procedure, but it's a surgery.
Sixties, you'll have a major surgery, the music is still loud, but it doesn't matter
because you can't hear it anyway.
Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale. You start eating dinner at 2:00
in the afternoon, you have lunch around 10:00, breakfast the night before, spend most of
your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate soft yogurt and muttering,
"How come the kids don't call? How come the kids don't call?"
The eighties, you'll have a major stroke, and you end up babbling with some Jamaican
nurse who your wife can't stand, but who you call mama.
Charles W. Colson, The Body, 1992, Word Publishing,
There is a relationship which makes life complete. Without that relationship, there is
a void, a vacuum in life. Many people, even those who are well-known, can attest to that
For example, H.G. Wells, famous historian and philosopher, said at age 61: "I have
no peace. All life is at the end of the tether." The poet Byron said, "My days
are in yellow leaf, the flowers and fruits of life are gone, the worm and the canker, and
the grief are mine alone." The literary genius Thoreau said, "Most men live
lives of quiet desperation."
Ralph Barton, one of the top cartoonists of the nations, left this note pinned to his
pillow before taking his own life: "I have had few difficulties, many friends, great
successes; I have gone from wife to wife, from house to house, visited great countries of
the world, but I am fed up with inventing devices to fill up twenty-four hours of the
Glory, May 29, 1993.