Can a good and beautiful life be prescribed? I plan to find out.

Can a good and beautiful life be prescribed? I plan to find out.
Photo by Janesca / Unsplash

I often read my Bible and find myself stuck in the white space—the in-betweens between the words and the stories written on the page. This is fertile ground for "I wonder" questions.

  • "I wonder what Adam and Eve's living space looked like in the garden."
  • "I wonder if Abraham hugged Isaac a little longer the day God spared him."
  • "I wonder if Jeremiah had friends or if Jesus told jokes."

The Bible is a scrapbook of people's stories, capturing their encounters with God. People like us (much later in history) get to fill the blank spaces and in-betweens with a lot of wondering. 

  • What happened to the woman Jesus encountered at the well, and how did that conversation between her husband and her lover go? 
  • How did Lazarus spend the rest of his days? 
  • What did Barrabas do with his newfound freedom? Did he ever learn more about the guy who took his place? 

The Bible contains a cast of characters, and they all have something to teach us. About what? We should discover that together. 

I do know a thread that connects every single one of them: they were humans. 

Just like you and me. 

They had dreams and goals. They wanted to live a life of meaning and purpose, to know that their lives were adding up to something more than just a collection of random happenings. They wanted to have significance beyond their circumstances. 

In summary, they sought to live a good and beautiful life

The Good and Beautiful Life

We all do. I can't imagine anyone stepping up to the microphone to say they care little about living a good and beautiful life. 

  • Do people have different definitions of good and beautiful? Absolutely.
  • Will my perspective on someone's life differ from their own? Without a doubt.
  • Can a good and beautiful life even be prescribed? I don't know.

But I am ready to find out. 

The Process

Through hundreds of survey entries, hours of interviews, deep dives into biblical characters, and thorough examinations of historical figures' lives, I want to see if it can prescribe a good, beautiful life. 

First, I will walk alongside the cast of characters in the Bible, asking what made their lives good and beautiful. Characters like Daniel, Martha, Paul, Moses, Esther, Nicodemus, Jairus, and Job have much to teach about a life worth living. 

Next, I am asking people like you if they feel like they are living a good and beautiful life. Here are a few of the responses I have received: 

  • "Yes, I feel like my life is a good balance of everything I could dream of needing for a full life of joy despite some circumstances that I sometimes can't control."
  • "To me, a good and beautiful life can only be gained by knowing God intimately. Otherwise, we are constantly chasing those highs brought about by happy circumstances. They are fleeting, and the reward is short-lived."
  • "Sometimes I do. I sin every day but try to always walk a blameless life."
  • "lol. no."

Finally, I will filter everything I hear and learn from others' experiences into a three-pillar framework: coherence, purpose, and significance. A good and beautiful life is associated with the feeling that your life has a story (coherence), a story that is going somewhere (purpose), and a story that has cosmic, existential significance (significance).

Where will this lead?

Short answer: I don't know. 

My goal is to help people who feel like their lives are random events that don't add up to anything meaningful.

My goal is to help those who struggle to stay motivated by the task they value most and to let go of the things that hold them back from a good life.

My goal is to help people who struggle to see their own value. I meet people nearly every day. They tell me they feel like their lives are being wasted. 

My goal is also to discover a good and beautiful life for myself. I want to look at my life at the end of every day and feel like it's been a good life worth living. 

Last Thoughts 

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