Design AND Purpose

Twenty-two years ago today, our youngest and largest child was born.  Actually, I’m not quite sure if he was the largest of our four at birth, but at the time each of them reached their 22ndyear, there’s not much competition about who’s the biggest. ‘Nough said.  But we celebrated with the visiting cousins and appropriate fanfare at Texas Roadhouse.  Thus, the pic.


Michael’s existence ultimately points to the existence of a creator as the best explanation for his existence.   Our son is part of the universe in which we live; an amazing entity that’s compromised of nearly countless interlocking and interworking parts.  So, whether we speak of the universe as a whole or of Michael as a part of it, and once again, the existence of God is the best explanation for the intricate design we see in the big universe and in Michael’s small, well, relatively small body.  


I just got done reading a book called Origin Story: A Big History of Everything.  It is a contemporary attempt to explain everything we see without admitting the need for God. The early chapters say something like, “Scientists say there is no incontrovertible evidence or proof for the existence of God so we must proceed as if he does not exist in our explanation for why things are the way they are.” Or something to that affect. And then the author keeps using the passive voice to describe activities in the universe.  Things like “atoms were arranged” or “matter was forced” or “energy was compelled to reach out to…” All of these inorganic building blocks of our universe act as if they knew what they were doing, all by themselves, with a particular goal in mind… accidentally, and as a result of chaotic random chance. In other words, the author can’t describe why things are the way they are without speaking “as if” there were a God who originally designed and subsequently superintended their progress even though he’s unwilling to admit the existence of God.  To me, it’s really simple to say that a Divine Designer is the reason for the universe’s existence.  I guess to others, it’s nigh impossible even though it provides the best explanation, and even though they must borrow from the implications of a Designer’s existence to make anything make any sense at all.


From the bigger to the smaller, of all the things that had to happen for Michael to exist, for all of them to come together in our lives as parents, well, the odds are astronomical that they could happen.  Noel and I had to meet having grown up fifteen hundred miles apart and not dating anybody at that moment, get married, engage in intimate activity, then one particular egg out of millions, and one particular sperm out of hundreds of millions had to combine to the exclusion of all the others to form a zygote that became an embryo, then a fetus, then a newborn baby… Exceptional and unlikely things accidentally happen all the time, like a universe beginning and developing. Why not a baby’s conception, birth, and development?  For my part, whether it’s the existence of the universe as a whole or of Michael as a microscopic part, the existence of God is the best ultimate explanation of why they exist.


And if Michael’s existence is ultimately the result of random chance and countless accidents, then what does that say about his purpose in life?  At worst, he doesn’t have one. At best, he’s got to create one himself. On the other hand, if God designed him in his mother’s womb from plans made in eternity past, the truth of a designer’s existence then necessitates the reality that his purpose is also given to him by his designer.  He really does have something to live for, a purpose both bigger than himself and ingrained into his very DNA.  


Twenty-two years in, he’s still trying to figure out the particulars of God’s purpose for him. He knows he’s supposed to bring glory to God and good to people, but what that looks like exactly… well, like I said, “It’s a process.”  


And it is for all of us. The process of growing and knowing both our Designer and his purpose for each of us – this is what makes life both difficult and interesting, both trying and enjoyable, both formidable and thrilling.


As you bring 2018 to a close and embark upon 2019, I hope and pray that you will embrace the pleasurable challenge of getting to know your Designer and his great purpose for you better.  He made you with tender care and for a definite purpose.  You are not the product of blind, random chance or purposeless accidents that exploded from a wrinkle in “nothingness.”  You have been fearfully and wonderfully made. May God the Grand Designer Himself lead you in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:24).