I am more and more convinced that much of the unhappiness and restlessness that many people in our society feel is due to their inability to answer for themselves the fundamental questions of life. Such questions as “Where did I come from?” “Where am I now?” and “Where am I going?” clamor for an answer. Otherwise, we are rootless and even if we are successful in many areas of life will find ourselves searching for meaning. So where did I come from? The first words of the Bible are “In the beginning....God created heaven and earth” and in that universe “God created human beings, making them to be like himself.” (Gen 1:27) As Psalm 139 so beautifully says, “You created every part of me, you put me together in my mother’s womb...”. Each of us then comes from God. Each of us is the work of His hands.
“Where am I now?” In God’s universe, in God’s story. History is his-story. My life and yours are part of that story. Human stories are inside life—inside history, parts of history. But all of history, including our lives, is inside God’s story. In Thornton Wilder’s play, Our Town, Emily signs her school books with this address: Grovers Corners, New Hampshire, United States of America, North America, Western Hemisphere, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe, Mind of God. What a wonderful way to understand ourselves and our story. “Where am I going?” That depends on me. God gave each of us the gift of free will, free choice. He offers us eternal life with Him in Heaven. We are free to say yes or no. If we say yes, then the answer to the question “Where am I going?” is: Home. And the road home is Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one goes to the Father except through me. (Jn 14:6) Those basic questions have no answer except in relation to God. But when we see that connection, life makes sense.
(I am indebted to Peter Kreeft and his book Your Questions, God’s Answers for the ideas in this column.)