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Life : God's soap opera

Recently I've noticed how fascinated people are with studying the lives of others. Games like "The Sims" allows people to "play God" and completely control every aspect of a person they create. The tv show "Survivor" lets people study in depth the lives of those stranded on an island and watch as they learn how to survive. Every aspect of life intrigues us. The miracle of birth, new life held in a father's arms, tiny babies held and worshipped. Stalkers are the worst example, prying into lives and observing that which is preferred secret. Death, which we fear and dub those who are interested in it as "morbid" and perverse.

Why are we so enthralled by studying the lives of others? Even I am guilty of this apparently human trait. I walk down a street and recall the words of the Matrix "Millions of people, living out their lives.. oblivious." I consider what it would be like to read the minds and thoughts of those around me, like a bad sci-fi/paranormal movie. So many perspectives, so many individual personalities, no two of which have ever or will ever be alike. Each of us have unique thoughts and I would give anything to get into someone else's mind for just a few minutes and experience life through them.

We are made in the image of God, as said by Himself in the Bible. Many have pondered the meaning of life and why we are here. I wonder if part of the reason is that we exist for His entertainment. This may seem frivolous and heretical and in many ways blasphemous, but one must wonder if eternal beings get bored. If God could have created us perfect and without human nature, then why did He not? Though He is perfect, He made us capable of sin. His angels are clearly not perfect beings either, as Lucifer and a full third of Heaven turned against their Creator. Is our dreaded human nature what makes us so valuable to Him?

I believe that life is beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I believe it can be defined as appreciating the subject. Tragedy, repulsiveness, and even death can be considered beautiful. No one can deny the pull of "tear-jerkers", movies that have a sad, tragic ending, that can only be described as beautiful by those that truly appreciate the movie for the strong emotions it gives them. I recall a painting of an extremely ugly and repulsive old woman studied in art class, which people interviewed in the book had considered beautiful and noble in its own way. Some have seen in the face of the recently departed a look of complete peace and respite that they can only call beautiful.

If anything can be considered beautiful, then life is not necessarily as terrible and depressing as many think. Rather, it may possess all of these qualities for some people in some circumstances, yet still be beautiful. What if you were on par with Gods abilities and could study the complete life of a drug dealer, inside and out? True there would be much corruption, violence, and all manner of immoral acts, as would be found in any other human being, but could there not be some beauty?

The Truman show is another example of humanities undivided interest in themselves. A sci-fi world in which a character is completely raised and immersed in an artificial bubble world unbeknownst to him. Audiences all over the world watch every minute of his life on television as their entertainment. Will we someday come to this as we become less and less ashamed of our similarities to God in this aspect? Are we in our lives, and life in general, God's soap opera?

copyright 2000 Rob Harrison