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. I believe 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 be times when an atheist wonders, “Why bother?”
After hearing the song on an Oldies radio station recently, I amused myself by thinking up lyrics to a new final verse … a Christian response to the songwriter’s question, “Is that all there is?”
My verse begins with, “That’s not all there is…” and includes 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 lines of mercy and grace changed the whole meaning and feeling of this 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.
“In the beginning was the One who is called the Word.
The Word was with God and was truly God.” John 1:1 (CEV)