Compositional Nihilism is the belief that the only things that actually exist, exist sub-atomically – everything else is just a cause and effect permutation of that reality. Therefore, the events of your life, which you commonly interpret as having purpose and meaning, are just an illusion – your life is nothing more than the incidental happenstance of a meta-script being written on a subatomic level. I can’t think of anything more antithetical to the way we actually live our lives than this philosophy.
We are far more inclined to view each event in our life as contributing to our personal history, making us who we are as individuals. In this way, it could be said, that we tend to see our lives as an unfolding story – a story filled with discernable characters and themes. And whereas, there is much we’d like to edit and revise, we can’t help but feel our story has a point – a purpose. With this in mind – just how intentional are you about the way your story is being told?
Whether you know it or not, you tell your story with every choice you make, in the way you conduct every relationship, and in how your time and treasure is spent. It is in the memories you create with those who know you best, it is found in the way you rise to each challenge, and it is measured by the grace and love, for which you are known. These are not merely the happenstance of impersonal forces – they are how you tell your story. So what kind of story-teller are you?
Simultaneously, there is also a larger narrative at work, a narrative that your story is intended to play a role in – it is a story only God can tell. All of the grand themes are present – good and evil; love and hate; light and darkness . . . and the role of your story in this larger narrative is to navigate these grand themes by faith . . . in doing what is good, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God (Micah 6: 8). In this way our life’s story is meant to bear witness to this larger story being told, contributing our fleshed out details of this grand narrative.
God speaks the universe into existence, which is only the first few stanzas of this grand narrative – so we can only imagine the depth and beauty of the story that follows must be on a scale beyond all comprehension . . . and yet we are invited to tell our portion of it. It is a love story of grace and reconciliation, where we are both the ones being reconciled to God, and agents of his reconciliation — so that by design, all of our story lines are converging, seeking to be in God’s presence . . . together.
Here’s a song from one of my favorite story tellers . . .
reminding us that it’s a slow turning from the inside out