We live in a complicated time. With global economies seesawing, decreasing opportunities for the young and shifts in attitudes towards family values and gendered career roles, it can be hard to envisage what the future will hold.
Millennials have had to pick themselves up by the bootstraps and tackle hardships, challenges and setbacks not experienced by the working generation before them.
Our identities are being challenged. Who we are, what we do and what our legacy will be are all questions being asked at a much earlier stage in our lives. And this is before we have even taken into account the idea of faith. In my own journey with God, I am often at a loss as to who I am and what my role in this short life is. What do I see in myself and what do others see in me?
For me, the church isn’t just a place to reflect and learn about my personal journey with God, but also a community dedicated to discussing these big questions. We all need the space and time to wrestle with our purpose – what defines us, what we desire and what we will take with us when we check out of this life. Alpha offers a place to explore these hard-hitting, meaning-of-life subjects with a group of people from different walks of life.
Over the years, the web has seen an increase in online forums like Reddit, crowdsourced question-and-answer sites like Quora and micro-blogging tribes on Tumblr, all evidence for this need for answers and insight. Hundreds and thousands of threads on these sites relate to the question, ‘What is the meaning of life?’
The answers can tell us a lot about the current global mood. Some focus on living a healthy and dedicated life: ‘Speak softer, pause for beauty.’ Others offer raw fact: ‘to reproduce’. And of course there are those that just want to ‘dance till you can’t anymore’.
Luckily, we don’t have to have the right answers to every question all the time. Some things take time to work out. There will always be new worries and concerns as we change jobs, move locations or simply grow up and face life’s inevitable setbacks. But there are some questions that don’t disappear as we change, questions that we sometimes wish we had more space to investigate. For me, amidst the confusion and the busyness of life, those questions were too important to ignore.
Alpha is an opportunity to explore the meaning of life. Find an Alpha near you
Words by Lisa Payne
Photography by Alex Douglas