Sunday, July 30, 2006

What's It All About?

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Col.1:16-17)

“The Hokey-Pokey…what if that is what it’s all about?” I followed a car recently with this bit of wisdom on the bumper. It is referring, of course, to the silly little dance by that name: “You put your right hand in/You put your right hand out/You put your right hand in and you shake it all about/ You do the hokey-pokey (hands wiggled vigorously at side of head)/And you turn yourself around/And that’s what it’s all about.” From here it progresses to the left hand, right leg, left leg, etc., till you end with “your whole self.” As I say, the song is silly and the ending sentiment stupid. Perhaps there is no great harm done as long as one realizes this. But until I can dance on the ceiling like Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding, I don’t think I’ll bother!

As absurd as that bumper sticker’s question may seem, however, there are those whose hair-brained ideas are just as silly, even though they are taken more seriously. For instance, according to the existentialist, the meaning of life is whatever I choose it to be; to the hedonist, pleasure is what gives life meaning; “No, No,” says the pantheist, “Everything has equal meaning; it’s all divine, even nature.” To the nihilist, there is no meaning; while the pragmatist will assert that if it works for you, it’s got meaning. To these, and other poor fools with similar ideas, I would say, “Join the ranks of the Hokey-Pokey promoters!”

If I were in the bumper-sticker business, I would make one that said, “It’s all about Him.” That is what Colossians says. The world was created by Him, and for Him; He came before all things, and He holds everything together. Without Him, the nihilist is right: there is no meaning to life. Ah, but with Him, everything makes sense, even what cannot for a time be understood. I know why I am here and where I am going. I matter. With or without a daily planner, I am fulfilling a predetermined plan—specific, at times and general, at others—but always Divinely crafted.

The question is not, “What’s it all about?” The question is, “Who’s it all about?” And the answer is God!

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