In the Human Dilemma, we are haunted by the nagging feeling that something is not right. We look around and wonder what it would take to make life better. If only __________. If only we could end war, put an end to violence and conflict, and find real and lasting peace. If only we could be truly free to live as we please without ridicule or scorn. If only we could discover our true passion, achieve our dreams, and spend our lives doing what we really love. If only we could enjoy the pleasures of life without going too far or falling prey to addiction or suffering the sting of guilt. If only we could stay young forever.
It’s tempting to think of the Human Dilemma as multi-faceted and therefore relative to each person. For instance, you may give yourself to the cause of peace or freedom, believing that if you can ever settle this one part, everything else will fall into place. I may pursue a particular dream and believe this one thing will bring everything else in line. Someone else may dedicate themselves to the quest for eternal youth, believing this will bring fulfillment. We may even turn to Jesus and learn His perspective about these things. But if we keep the thing divided and think Jesus is the Divine Solution to this or that symptom, we are only looking in the right direction. We haven’t yet gotten to the core of the dilemma. For all disappointment and trouble stems from the one thing that is missing; or more accurately, the one thing that is lost.
Once again, we find the answer is so utterly simply, yet so maddeningly beyond our reach. The Human Dilemma has stunted our growth, blurred our vision, and deafened our hearing. Our senses are attuned only to the things of this world so that we are naturally ignorant of the spiritual. The Apostle Paul revealed the Divine Solution to the great minds of Athens when He said to them, “From one man He (God) made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:26-28a).
There it is. The end of our searching is God…period. Everything comes down to Him. We can gain some solace by treating the symptoms, but until we get to this Center, we have not really understood the dilemma or the solution.
(The final installment of this series will be posted tomorrow – The End of the Story)