Contrary to what secular critics say, the Christian does not and cannot hold our life on earth to be unimportant. Indeed, it is of the highest importance. The reason is startlingly obvious, and yet often goes completely unnoticed: it is this life that determines our status in the next life. Our fate for eternity hinges on how we live now So living sub specie aeternitatis, far from being a way to escape the responsibilities of life in this world, is actually a way to imbue life with a meaning that will outlast it. It is to give life much greater depth and significance because it is part of a larger narrative of purpose and truth.

Christianity also offers a solution to the cosmic loneliness we all feel. However successful the secular life, there comes to every thinking person the recognition that, in the end, we are alone. Christianity removes this existential loneliness and links our destiny with God. Our deepest relationship is with Him, and it is a relationship that is never- ending and always faithful. The secular person may wonder what this relationship feels like. It is an enduring experience of the sublime. Have you ever had a moment with someone you love in which you are transported into a transcendent realm that seems somehow outside space and time? Ordinarily, such experiences are rare and never last for long. For the Christian, the sublime is a part of everyday life. Milton terms this a joy surpassing Eden, “a paradise within thee, happier far.” Another benefit of Christianity is that it helps us to cope well with suffering and death. Time magazine reported on the case of a woman who suffered a series of tragedies. Her husband was laid off. She had a miscarriage. A month later her first cousin was diagnosed with cancer. Then two hurricanes struck her hometown. Finally, one of her best friends died from a brain tumor. Here is the woman’s reaction: “We’re putting our lives in God’s hands and trusting He has our best interests at heart. I’ve clung to my faith more than ever this year. As a consequence, I haven’t lost my joy” Joy under these conditions simply isn’t natural, and that is this woman’s point—only the supernatural can produce enduring joy in the face of life’s tragedies. When we are in pain and feeling hopeless, Christianity raises our spirits. We don’t know why we are in this situation, but we have faith that there is a reason, even if only God knows what that is. Perhaps God is trying to teach us something, or to draw us closer to Him by intimating to us our mortality. Christianity also gives us the hope that when someone dies,we will see that person again.