The Big Reason Why Your Life Needs a Little Absurdity

{By Alexandra Presley}

“We will not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and to know the place for the first time.”

– T.S. Eliot


All of the best things in life are absurd.

It is absurd that we are born, that we live, that we die. We are very absurd to love, tremendously absurd to marry. Beauty is absurd, and so is goodness, and so is truth. It is absurdity to have babies and absurdity to love them and absurdity to watch them grow up. It is absurd that our hearts can be so empty of hope that they break or so full of laughter that we dance. It is absurd that God died, most absurd of all that He is alive again.

Life is absurd because we can’t explain any of it away. We are hilarious characters in a preposterous story about all the Goodness defeating all the Evil.

Our Author has quite the sense of humor and sometimes we don’t know how to handle that. It’s not entirely our fault, either, because the world would like nothing better than to make us all into cold-hearted cynics. Every sorrow, every pain, makes us a bit older inside and eats away at a bit more of our hope. It’s hard to look at life with a sense of wonder when our eyes are tired and our hearts are chilled. But don’t scoff.

Fairytales are more than true and everything will, in fact, end happily ever after.

why life is a mystery

Children are better able to handle mysteries. But we all get older. And too much focus on being terribly grown up and terribly smart gets us terribly lost. When we are grown up, we look for the concrete, the clear, the sure, and we discover, in bewilderment, that we cannot rationalize irrational things. We forget that life is absurd and that absurdity is mysterious, and that irrational things don’t make sense. Children are wise. They laugh rather than rationalize; they believe rather than explain.

why are fairytales so good

You will never ever rationalize the fact that He loved Jacob and hated Esau. You will never rationalize a dark that always turns into dawn or a world that will be good again. Our God chops down the forest, but He never leaves it dead. He breaks the stony hearts, but He binds up the hurting ones. He casts out the lofty pretenders, but He picks the wretched harlot up in His arms and makes her beautiful again.

In the midst of a large, wicked, noisy world, the tiniest baby life can hold inside of it a wonderfully gigantic piece of God’s kingdom. That is absurdity.

Our King hides Himself from us. There are some things so enormous that we cannot bear to know them yet, and so He puts us in a sheltered place and He comes by with His back toward us. But this turning away only shows how great His love really is. It’s great enough to protect us from Himself, from knowing too much. In the beginning, when the man and his wife lived in the perfect garden, their hearts were children’s hearts. They worked and played and loved. They were not ashamed to be naked. But too soon they were asked the most dangerous question in all of history: “Did God really say..?” And then as they scoffed at God and ate the fruit, they suddenly knew too much and their hearts grew heavy with sin. Innocence hid her face and was gone.

We have looked on and lived on in such darkness that now the pure light hurts our guilty eyes. But it is a holy pain. Stare straight into it and keep your eyes wide open. Don’t cower. Don’t wallow in your shame. You can’t be afraid to accept scandalous grace. You can’t be afraid that you will get too much or that you will not deserve it. You can’t rationalize. Instead hold out your hands and hold onto the things you’re given. Be brave enough to let Christ see your sin. Be brave enough to let Him put a new robe on your burdened shoulders and to let Him wash off your filthy feet. Be brave enough to not understand and to be joyful in your ignorance. Marvel and marvel again that He calls you His Beloved. That is absurdity.

We need to be strong enough to see the mysterious paradox of everything and to laugh our heads off.

For now, there is bewilderment and sin. But all will be made well. There will come a day when fat baby hands will drag serpents out of their holes. A day when we will be able to stand strong and happy and fearless with His face toward us. And the brilliance of His light will still hurt our eyes, but we will never want to look away. And we will realize that all we have ever searched for was there all along.

And when we see Him face to face we will suddenly understand everything for the very first time.


  1. Anonymous says:

    This is SO BEAUTIFUL.

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