Stephen Hawking: The tragedy of a wasted life

240px-Stephen_Hawking.StarChildA while back I went to see the movie ‘The Theory of Everything.’

A brilliant physicist, Oxford University and a love story: It was a recipe guaranteed to hook me, and it did.

I am far from the first to be captivated by the genius. To think that such extraordinary intellect can be trapped within such a broken body is both tragic and inspiring.

I am awed by men like Hawking, both past and present, who have walked and conquered the halls of the greatest universities on earth. I wish that ‘A brief history of time’ wasn’t something that would go entirely over my head. I admire Hawking for more than his intellect; for his perseverance, his fighting spirit and his sense of humour.

He is truly a man who will go down in history.

But that is all.

And I found myself wondering if that is enough.

If all we can hope for in this life is to do enough to be remembered, then Hawking represents the epitome of success. But what if it’s true that there is more?

What if it’s true that Hawking spent much of his life arguing against the existence of a God that he will one day face?

Then his brilliance was all for nothing, and his life was a tragic waste.

And suddenly the greatest minds of the halls of Oxford pale in comparison to the common man who sits with his Bible and knows the creator.

Advertisements

What is the meaning of life?

 

Picture7

One of my year 12 students asked me if we could talk about something deep. ‘Like “What is the meaning of life?”’ he said.

‘Oh, well that’s an easy one,’ I said (yes slightly, but not entirely facetiously), and then borrowed, as good Christians do, from the Westminster Catechism: ‘The meaning of life is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever.’ (Or for the John Piper fans out there, to ‘glorify God by enjoying Him forever.’)

‘No! That’s not what I meant!’ responded my student. And of course it’s not what he meant. He meant let’s have a deep and complex academic debate about how life has any meaning apart from God.

It is no longer acceptable to have a simple answer to a question that has been overcomplicated by the desire to remove God.

It reminded me of a quote I found on a scrap of paper in my Bible: ‘Christianity is the easiest Religion because all you have to do is believe. And Christianity is the hardest Religion because all you have to do is believe.’

How easy it is to answer this question with a simple truth, and how difficult it is to live it.