"A Book Closed, Sadly"
I recently checked out a book from the local library, a biography of a fairly notable 20th century figure whose particular field of endeavor interests me. The woman accomplished a great deal after starting out somewhat late in life, and she clearly worked hard after achieving her status. I respect her for that. However, I had not read far into the book before I encountered this statement: "Mary (not her name) was a committed atheist".
I wasn't surprised by the revelation, but the directness of the words stuck home with force: "a committed atheist". I closed the book, and won't open it again. I really don't want to know anything else about the lady. The sadness of her lost life and eternity is too profoundly tragic to continue further consideration. Again, she made somewhat of a mark on the world in more than 90 years on the planet. But for what? I am reminded of the old adage from previous generations: "Only one life, t'will soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last." Or, as Scripture declares of the futility of an unbelieving lifetime, "Treasures of wickedness profit nothing" (Proverbs 10:2).
The honest atheist will acknowledge their belief that life has no meaning except that which one creates for himself or herself. The lady in question would likely have agreed. In other words, while unbelievers live their earthly lives, they attempt to find ways to convince themselves that who they are and what they do matters to themselves, perhaps to others, and even to posterity. However, does meaning really exist if we are nothing more than a chance meeting of molecules that somehow united for a brief time to give us consciousness? Indeed, according to that empty notion, death so obliterates our awareness that we might as well have never had it. Does anything really matter at all to those who reject the One who alone provides significance and consequence? Hardly. We cannot create meaning if we ourselves are so doomed that we will not exist beyond the vapor of an all too quickly passing earthly lifetime.
I closed the book, sadly. I then prayed for the lady's relatives who remain and perhaps already know the Lord, or who might come to know Him. There's nothing I can do for their deceased relative. No prayers will help her, nor is there any possibility for her redemption. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). That's why I don't want to read any further about her life that was not really a life. It was just an existence wherein she rejected the most obvious truth that presented itself to her heart. She will have eternity to regret that choice, and I find that prospect far too troubling to continue reading her profoundly sad story. She was a committed atheist during her earthly lifetime. But of this we can be sure: she is no longer.
"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."
Weekly Memory Verse
He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?