Trying To Sort out The Meaning of Life (2) – The Story

Zeno: “Does life have meaning?”

Zeena: “No.”

Zeno: “Well then. If life does not have meaning, then why bother living?”

I’ve just started reading a couple of short stories – Leaf By Niggle, by J.R.R. Tolkien, and A Descent Into A Maelstrom by Edgar Allan Poe.

And I have also been thinking about the Meaning of Life. And right now I have a jumble (maelstrom?) of thoughts in my head –  and I am not quite sure how they all fit together to form a picture.  For now I will just blog them out.

So here is the thing with short stories.  Generally when a story is good, it has some kind of meaning in it. It has some kind of meaning that we need to draw out by thinking.  Seeing the picture (meaning) emerge is part of what makes it good and beautful.


On the flip side when a story does not have meaning… it may just flit from topic to topic in a disconnected way and it may be a big blah.


Now obviously what holds true for short-stories also holds true for big stories and the big stories of people’s lives –  biographies.  It also holds true for our lives – autobiography – but is is not always easy to discern on account of how we live our lives.

We do need to look at our lives however … and

When we look at our lives, what is the picture that emerges? Is there meaning in our life? Or is our life just a series of disconnected jaunts, one after another?

So according to the Bible –

1. Somehow our stories connect with the Good News about the Incarnate God – Jesus Christ.  His story becomes our story.

2. Additionally, the Bible also speaks of “All things working together for the good of those who have been called by God” and about what people mean for evil, God meaning for good … the point being that things are connected and tending towards a certain end.

3. And yet there is something else… I am so far unable to connect the dots – my dots – or rather points … so disconnected point #3 is something like this…. Our life can consist of one big overarching story or it can be a bunch of connected mini-stories.  What happened to me at the grocery market today is one story.  How I flunked an exam is another story. These are all the mini-stories.

The thing is … the mini-stories come and go. They don’t last.  They don’t stretch out over time…. Just as people, friends, cars, money, fashion fads, etc. come and go so too do these stories.

However there is one story – the Big One – this does not come and go.   It is here for good and it is a story that just gets bigger and bigger.  What is this story. It is the story of what God is doing in our lives to make us who we are.  God is the one big constant in our lives…

So somehow I suspect that all this goop… all this stuff about stories has something to do with the Meaning of Life.  If there is no story in our life – then our lives are meaningless.  Yet there are other facets to the Meaning of Life – I still need to connect the dots.