There was a hit song in the sixties called, “Is That All There Is.” Even as a child, whenever I heard Peggy Lee crooning those words on the radio I felt emptiness and despair.
That song could be the theme song of non-believers, everywhere.
If all there is to life is the pursuit of personal pleasure, how bleak a prospect. One might as well “keep dancing” as the song says. Even if striving for meaning in relationships and service there must come times when an atheist wonders, “Why bother?”
I had been musing on that song off and on since hearing it on the oldies station earlier this week. While I took a walk this morning I amused myself by thinking up lyrics to a final verse … a Christian response to the songwriter’s question, “Is that all there is?”
My verse began with, “That’s not all there is…” and included the hope we have in Christ Jesus, both in this world and the next. My song-writing skills don’t hold up under much scrutiny, especially in light of the many glorious songs of hope and joy written by Christians throughout the ages. However, my rhymes of mercy and grace changed the whole meaning and feeling of the song for me.
When I compare the soaring feelings evoked by my personal favorite hymn, “Wonderful Grace of Jesus” to “Is That All There Is?” I am once again reassured that my leap of faith when I chose to believe the Bible was a leap in the right direction.