Much of life is a journey, as is often said, and that journey takes time. Oftentimes, however, we try to rush through life as if it’s some sort of race, the ever-present goal being to reach that finish line, achieve our dreams, pursue our purpose. All of which is good and commendable. However, do we stop and consider why we are even on this journey in the first place?
The question asked for centuries
Perhaps it is an existential question that seems uncomfortable. But as I’ve had conversations with many people in the past, this topic often comes to the forefront: what is the meaning of life; how do we understand what’s going on around us; is my life making any sense at all? Such questions filter through our conscience and spill over into our daily existence, seeking to attach some sort of meaning to our lives.
Interestingly enough, there is no one-shot answer to this question; mainly each person’s existence is unique in the mosaic we call life, an unending tapestry that converges on the canvas of history. This idea that meaning can be found in different ways, occurred to me when speaking with author and academic scholar Mathew John, who recently wrote the book, newly titled, “The Wisemen and the Unknown God: A Spiritual Journey from the East to the West”.
Finding meaning in existence
Growing up in India, and moving to Toronto early in life, Mathew was on a journey to find meaning to his existence, though he didn’t know it at the time. Along the way, he observed that life is also a spiritual journey. Throughout the many civilisations and chequered religious history over the past decades, there seems to be a gnawing reality in the heart of humanity that seeks the divine. Whether it is Buddhist enlightenment, or Hindu rites, or the Islamic call to worship, God’s redemptive grace lurking in the dark and hidden corners of different religions shines through the fog of the unknown. To know that the roots of the Christian faith were formed not from a Western construct, but rather from a small settlement in the East with a band of faithful followers who managed to influence the world is a comforting point indeed.
Of course, when dealing with such questions of spirituality, many seem to be lost as to what is the “right way” or the definitive answer to life’s question of purpose and meaning. However, instead of pushing for a hard-and-fast answer, Mathew shows in his book that there is a possibility that there are many ways or paths that people tread on this journey of life, that eventually point to the Truth—Jesus Christ, the one way to heaven.
The spiritual journey
It is for this reason that Mathew recently launched what is now known as The Mosaic Course, an online platform that seeks to explore world religions from a different perspective. Recently, fellow author Philip Yancey got on board and is currently helping to promote the course throughout the United States. Such a helpful way to identify with the spiritual journey, without being confrontational in nature, but rather engaging and informing those who seek answers to their questions is quite needed, especially for these current times.
In an age when absolute truth is questioned and scrutinised, radical forms of militant religion seemingly sweeping the globe, and persecution of the minority ramping up to new heights, we need a way to find how we as people can engage and relate with each other, even if we don’t completely agree with each other or find ourselves coming from the same place, as it were. The Mosaic Course seeks to do this in a helpful and authentic way. As it is, Mathew’s journey from India to Canada to the States has been an interesting path, and one that continues as he seeks the truth and ways in which he can impart the truth to others.
Finding God’s truth
We all are on a similar journey, though our journey may not look the same as others; yet in our own lives, we also can have an impact, however, small, on the way in which others view the world and their own purpose in life. Each journey often begins with a first step. We, through our own existence, can find the piece of the puzzle in this picture called life that provides meaning to the journey. In our own way, we find that the overall mosaic, though colourful and unpredictable, can keep us focused on the path to finding God’s truth on the journey of life.
A third-culture-kid born in Australia to Indian parents, Joseph returned from California where he was studying theology at Fuller, he is now working for a B.A.M. initiative in South India, still continuing his love for writing by contributing to PSI.
Joseph Kolapudi's previous articles may be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/joseph-kolapudi.html