I’m sitting on a weathered green plastic sun lounger in the back garden of a suburban English home; the sun is warm, not hot; the wind ebbs and flows in soft cooling gusts across my face and arms. There’s a simple pleasure in these things that goes beyond the sum of the elements. In fact it’s more than pleasure, because even the act of enjoyment draws out a deeper joy – a joy in the fact of being alive and of enjoying it. How can something so simple be the source of such pleasure? This observation of simple pleasures defeats all the mechanistic explanations given to us by those who claim to know.
This simple pleasure: the fact of the pleasure, not the experience that produces it; this fact and the question of where the joy comes from draws me, directs me towards a deeper, more profound one…
What if the wind on my face and the pleasure, the joy that it provokes are much more than simply the interaction of atoms and energy? What if the very fact of the existence of pleasure, of joy is evidence that there is much more to life than what we can understand from a science textbook? What if the simple pleasures of enjoying life and the world around us point to a real source of that pleasure?
What if, after all, this universe and all that it includes aren’t just the (statistically impossible) result of random interaction of elements from an unknown source, but of a deliberate act of creation by Someone greater than it all, but Someone who also knows joy and pleasure: pleasure in the act of creation itself, joy in the act of creating creatures to inhabit His creation and to enjoy it in their turn?
What if this Creator actually let us in on the knowledge of what was going on in this universe – its origins, its purpose, its ultimate destination? What if that knowledge was passed on from generation to generation in plain and simple words that everyone could understand? What if that knowledge is freely available here and now to anyone who wishes to know?
The good news is that this Creator, who brought this entire universe into existence has told us what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do! The plain and simple words are to be found in the Bible. It is God’s statement to us of our origins, our purpose our ultimate destination and it has been passed down from generation to generation even as God was working out this story in the lives of men and women.
The Bible is our human family history, our ‘Who do you think you are?’ of the human race. Want to know where you came from? Read the Bible! Want to know why you are the way you are? Read the Bible! Want to know the true purpose of life, the universe and everything? Read the Bible!
While not being a science textbook the Bible is compatible with our scientific understanding of our universe. It is history, our history, but even the future is presented as something that is as good as done – the Almighty God who made the universe can and will complete what He has started – it’s simply a matter of time, not ability.
The opening question of the source of simple pleasures still goes begging – I am convinced that a living, loving, pleasure enjoying God is the source and the end of this entire universe and of every creature within it. I am convinced that my experience of joy is because God created men and women in His own image. I am convinced that the explanation of my origins in the book of Genesis are true. I am convinced that the explanation of my ultimate destination presented in the book of Revelation is also true. I rejoice that such a God could and would provide at His own cost a means for me to enjoy this ultimate destination and that the end of this world will be the beginning of another with the same God, the same Creator.
I know that many of the intellectuals of this world would argue that none of the above is true, that the fact of our existence, the fact of joy, the fact of our self understanding is all pure chance. They tell us this while ignoring the science of statistics that tells us that the existence of this universe is statistically impossible. The possibility of such a mind bogglingly complex system coming into existence and then growing and improving is so infinitesimally small as to be not scientifically acceptable. It also defies some of the most basic observations of our environment.
And all this still doesn’t answer the question: how can I find such simple pleasure in sitting in the sun and enjoying the breeze? I believe that the answer is in God’s Word to us, the Bible. I am wholeheartedly convinced that the Bible is the plain statement of all that we need to know to comprehend our existence – until we get to see our Creator face to face.
I’ve made my choice, I’m convinced already, I’ve read the Bible cover to cover. My final question is: have you, will you?