Your foggy mind slowly ascends into the realms of consciousness, you can discern daylight filtering into your room through the window with nothing more than a weathered cloth tacked over it. You relax at first, figuring that you have plenty of time before running off to work, but there is a sense of disquiet, something is not right, your eyes ratchet open, suddenly your are one hundred percent awake and taking it all in… bamboo and bark are the main construction materials of this room you are in…
When you went to sleep you were in your three bedroom brick home in the middle of suburbia, this room, is surely a far cry from what you expected, a simple table in the corner, the bed you just leaped out of, rugged board floor, now smooth from wear, with a fine layer of sand on it replete with a stack of supplies in the corner, all the essentials seem to be provided but this new habitation is devoid of the accoutrements of modernity you are accustomed to.
Once you have taken in this sight you notice the smell of salt on the air and run outside to see what lies without. Straight down three similarly worn wooden steps onto the fine sand of the beach, the sun, having recently risen sits comfortably slightly above the horizon, you can feel it’s warmth but there is still a crisp freshness to the air.
You see some people with cast-nets further up the beach no doubt pulling in their families breakfast, as you run toward them you gather by their appearance they are pacific islander of some descent.
As you get to them, though near hyperventilation, you manage to ask where you are, these two men look at you with keen interest, inquiring where you come from.
After some explanation you discover that this island is a little known atol out in the middle of the south pacific, its residents remain quite happily outside the reach of the twenty first century.
When you press these two for information about getting off the island, they simply tell you to wait, every tenth year for as long as they can remember a boat has arrived and departed, taking anyone who required passage, free of charge. the unfortunate fact was, this mystery boat was still not due for another nine years.
With so few choices you are then a prisoner on this island and if you intend eating, re-education is necessary, with the help of your two new friends you learn the customs of the island, you begin fishing and trading with the locals, and are slowly accepted by them…
Eventually the tenth year finally arrives and it is approaching the time to go home, the day for which you have counted days, you do not know why or how you arrived on the island, but in hindsight you are grateful for the experience, all you know for sure is that it is time to leave.
One morning a friend bursts through the door of your hut exclaiming “It is here! it is here!”
you quickly grab your duffel bag with the essentials and treasured possessions of your time on the island, and sprint along the beach toward the bay, you consider as you run that this is much easier than it used to be, though your hair is now more gray than any other color, the refining process of your time on the island has taught you much and made you fit.
You crest the final hill and see the sapphire blue water, sunlight dancing over it, only interrupted by a glistening fiberglass hulled yacht, you run through the village shouting your farewell and embracing your friends with tears freely flowing.
When you exit the village and run down the sandy bank with your friends following you, you notice not one but two vessels… you see the awe inspiring yacht with the able crew, but now closer you see a simple row boat, with only room enough for the old man sitting in it and one other passenger, you are sure that the first unruly swell will see this quaint vessel on the bottom of the sea.
You say to the old man “Who are you old friend?” he answers simply by telling you that he is the man who gives passage every tenth year to all who need it, but he then informs you that there is no room for your hefty duffel bag and you will have to leave it behind.
No sooner had the old man said this than the captain of the yacht calls to you saying “Come aboard! we have plenty of room for you and your duffel bag” with hope again in your heart, you begin wading toward the yacht but as you get to the side of the ship you look through a porthole riveted on the side, you cant see much but what you can see is a rupture in the hull and a team of men furiously bucketing the water out, unfortunately the rupture is more than they can handle and though it is slow, the ship is taking on more water than can be bailed out, it is clear that this boat will surely sink before it makes port anywhere.
Then there is a decision to make, it is clear to you that you can no longer stay on the island, there is not enough plain evidence to prove that the old man and his little boat will take you home safely, but if you take the yacht death is inevitable. Any logical, rational person would wager the non-leaking boat against the good looking and near sunk one any day of the week. it would be foolhardy to then not take up the old man’s offer.
Blaise Pascal hypothesized this very situation (just without the allegory), in his posthumously published work “Pensées”. Whilst there is not enough clear evidence for many to believe in God and become a Christian, the alternative option is death, so if anyone would be truly logical they would pursue authentic Christianity.
To put it succinctly.
- If one is an atheist and dies and is correct, he is still dead.
- If one is an atheist and dies and is incorrect, he is still dead.
- If one is a Christian and dies, and is correct, he has infinite life and joy
- If one is a Christian and dies, and is incorrect, he is dead.
Pascal himself states, this wager is not sufficient for salvation, but it should be sufficient impetus to pursue salvation in Christ.
In Conclusion, Pascal stated the following;
If I saw no signs of a divinity, I would fix myself in denial. If I saw everywhere the marks of a Creator, I would repose peacefully in faith. But seeing too much to deny Him, and too little to assure me, I am in a pitiful state, and I would wish a hundred times that if a God sustains nature it would reveal Him without ambiguity.
We understand nothing of the works of God unless we take it as a principle that He wishes to blind some and to enlighten others.
Blaise Pascal, in the midst of this dichotomy, possibly without even realizing it, alluded to scripture with this very quote… God plainly states in Jeremiah 29:13-14;
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD…
If it was easy and plain to see there is a God, we would not have faith, we would have knowledge, and without faith there is no point to the plan of Salvation because we are saved by grace through faith.
God has designed creation in such a way as we can find God, but only if we first search for him with all our heart.