Perhaps you haven’t read any of Douglas Coupland’s books like Generation X or Shampoo Planet. This famous 46 year old Canadian author and artist has written at least ten novels, several non-fictions books, a feature screen play and his book jPod has been turned into a new TV series.
Very recently, Evan Solomon, a contributing writer for a major Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail (1) interviewed Douglas Coupland. He asked what it was that drives him out of bed in the morning. Coupland responded: “I’ve got this time on Earth and I have a free will, so what am I going to do with it…”
When asked if he ever had a religious experience Mr. Coupland said he had. “I’ve had several moments in my life and they’re very personal. I actually wouldn’t want to talk about them. But sometimes its things like births and deaths and passages that obviously connect you with the profound.”
The reporter further questioned him: “I never really got an answer. What is your perfect day?”
When Mr. Coupland said it was two years ago on February 13th, the journalist made a further inquiry as to what was so special about that day.
Coupland’s answer: “I woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head, et cetera. And then the paper was especially interesting that day….the cartoon was funny. The mail arrived….someone showed up unexpectedly and we went out for lunch. And then I did my stuff, bumped into my friends….It was just one day…where nothing went wrong. ”
Personally I’ve read one of Coupland’s book. At the risk of sounding sappy, I can honestly say I was touched by what I read. His book got to me! I had the privilege of attending one of his Massey Lectures in 2010. I presented him with a book by the late world-reknowned John Stott entitled: Why I am a Christian.
To me, Coupland’s 360 page pocket book entitled Life After God describes life in the 21st Century without God. I sensed a profound expression of the emptiness of life without God; the sense of detachment and the aloneness one experiences without God. The inability to make sense of life when God is not in life’s equation. So vividly it seemed to me he described a spiritual thirst, a longing for the Infinite, something to add permanent definition to his life; something more than the finite boxes of Kraft dinners; the parties of drugs, sex and alcohol; greater depth than the daily phone calls; the feeding of pets; the traffic and the job. You could sense his frustration: what is the true meaning of life? Why am I here?
The author suggests he knows why dogs like doggy bones and cats instinctively chase mice, but he wonders about humans. What makes a human a human? Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here and where are we going?
Vividly his book portrays the shallowness and emptiness of humanistic thinking – when our lives are self directed and self-centered without God. He brings clarity to the consequences of a generation being raised without God.
With questions left unanswered Mr. Coupland pens the second last page in his book. A part of page 359 reads like this:
“Now – here is my secret:
I tell it to you with an openness of heart that I doubt I shall ever achieve again,
so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words.
My secret is that I need God –
That I am sick and can no longer make it alone…”
What do you think? Does this picture capture the darkness of a life without God?
If God is on the outside of your life – you need Him too. You could have a personal relationship with God today through the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 says: “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 3:18 says Christ suffered for our sins, the Righteous One on behalf of sinners, so He could bring us to God.
When you know Christ as your personal Saviour there is no longer a disconnect between you and God. You enter into a life-long relationship – an eternal relationship with the Almighty God.
Knowing God brings security, peace, contentment and meaning to life. Don’t spend another day without God.
1. The Globe and Mail, January 5, 2008, Douglas Coupland’s Caption, by Evan Solomon, F8
2. Life After God, Douglas Coupland, 1994