So Jeremy (C) asked the question “What is most the most courageous thing I’ve done?” We had climbed to the Cross on the mountain adjacent to Volmoed. The climb alone brought tears to my eyes but I think the tears that followed came from the heart…..
It took a nano second to answer that question sitting on “My Rock” gazing over God’s magnificent creation, overlooking Hermanus and the bay.
“To put my life and future solely in God’s hands”.
You see I always believed my eternity and life was solely governed by my ego, personal drive and ambitions, to the extent of utter selfishness. 30 years ago at University I was an Ayn Rand fanatic. For those who do not know, she was born 1905 a Russian novelist and Philosopher. She is known for her two best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism.
Ultimately the philosophy was the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected all forms of faith and religion. She was a determined atheist and she valued reason above any other human attribute.
Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957 (year of my birth). The theme of the novel outlines “the role of the mind in man’s existence and, as a corollary, the demonstration of a new moral philosophy: the morality of rational self-interest.” You may be interested that after completing the novel of more than one thousand pages, Rand fell into a severe depression that may have been aggravated by her use of amphetamines and she died of lung cancer secondary to her lifelong heavy smoking.
Interestingly there is only one other book I have read more times since – the Bible (3 times in 18 months).
When Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, heard from the others that Jesus had risen from the dead, he would not believe it. In fact, he flatly stated, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” One week later, Jesus appeared to them again, with Thomas now present. Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God!”
18 months ago I invited the Lord into my heart and life with the knowledge that Jesus told Thomas “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”.
The late Carl Gustav Jung said, “The central neurosis of our time is emptiness.” All of us have a deep longing for our life to have meaning and depth. I am living proof Jesus offers us a more meaningful, purposeful, abundant life, which comes through a relationship with Him.
I now understand for the first time we are created in God’s image for relationship with Him. Being in that relationship is the only thing that will ultimately satisfy our souls. I have achieved some noble purposes in my first 50 years, but not the one I was ultimately designed for. Not until I found the Lord this time last year.
Augustine summarised correctly with these words: “You [God] have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”
My relationship with God has quenched my soul’s longing. Jesus Christ said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
What happened next is difficult to describe but I can only put it this way: I “met” God, after which I discovered real fulfilment. I felt inner peace and a wholeness I had never experienced before, as if an empty part of me deep down in my soul had been filled — a wholeness that has been a part of my life ever since that day. “When I read and listen to the words of Jesus, it seemed to me He was speaking to my heart, and he was saying, ‘I am the way to life. If you follow me and do what I say, your life will change’.
My life has changed.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Wow what a journey. Lord keep me humble and desperate.