by David Wraight
Over the past few years there has been an explosion of interest in finding other intelligent life in the universe. Literally billions of dollars has being expended in the search for alien life. The entertainment industry also seems to be obsessed with UFOs, aliens and the ‘cosmic community’.
So why this incredible drive to prove that we are not alone in the universe? World famous physicist Paul Davies sees this interest in extraterrestrial intelligence as arising “from the need to find a wider context for our lives than this earthly existence provides.”
Of course, this innate desire to define ‘a wider context for our lives’ has an obvious explanation. Well over 1000 years ago Augustine provided the answer to our ever increasing sense of ‘cosmic loneliness’ in his well known statement: “God made us for himself and our hearts are restless until they find rest in him.” Even acclaimed atheist Jean Paul Satre recognised this need for God concluding: “That God does not exist I cannot deny, but that my whole being cries out for God I cannot forget”.
With the above in mind I suppose we should not be surprised to discover that young people in particular are exhibiting many symptoms of chronic loneliness. It is clearly reflected in their culture, especially in their music. For example, the popular song ‘Sick with Love’ by Robyn Loau states: “I’m not alone, but I am lonely. It’s a deep rooted fear that I can’t rise above”.
The great thing is that there is an answer to the loneliness. Astrophysicist David Wilkinson presents the answer very well in his book ‘Alone in the Universe’:
“The need in a cosmic context for companionship, for purpose, for self understanding, for reassurance and for help to make things better are all real. They are an expression of men and women made in the image of the Creator of the Universe, yet feeling alienated from God and their true selves. The Christian faith gives answers to these questions. We are not alone. The God who made the Universe wants to be in relationship with us. There is a purpose to our existence.”
May we effectively carry this message to the chronically lonely who desperately need Jesus.