Life according to Woody Allen…

16 Aug

I just read this article about Woody Allen in the latest Newsweek. My heart breaks for him! A director who has had an amazing career but he says that he still makes movies “not because he has any grand statement to offer, but simply to take his mind off the existential horror of being alive.”

“I can’t really come up with a good argument to choose life over death. Except that I’m too scared,” Allen says.

Later on in the article, Woody Allen is quoted as saying, “Your perception of time changes as you get older, because you see how brief everything is. You see how meaningless…I don’t want to depress you, but it’s a meaningless little flicker…You have a meal, or you listen to a piece of music, and it’s a pleasurable thing. But it doesn’t accrue to anything.”

As I read that article, I was reminded of something I wrote in high school. For several years before I became a Christian, I really struggled with the meaning and purpose of life. If I had not become a Christian after my sophomore year of college, I have no doubt that I would resonated with Woody Allen’s sentiments very much.

This is what I wrote in my diary when I was a junior in high school: “There are no other words that I can think of to describe life other than futile and worthless. Really, when you think about it, what the hell are all of us doing here? We go through school, which everyone despises but supposedly it’s ‘beneficial.’ We get a career, which most people hate and they end up wasting their lives on things that don’t really matter. So what the hell are we doing? Sure there are some good times, fond memories. But they all end. Everything good or worth anything ends at one point. Nothing can be relied upon. You may think that you have your life figured out and everything may be peachy keen for a while. But just wait and see–life will throw you a curveball, guaranteed. There is absolutely no doubt that your life will truly suck. And not just once. Repeatedly, over and over. You know why? Because life’s a bitch and then you die.”

By the end of my senior year of high school, this is what I thought: “I know that I have felt–and still remotely feel–that the good things in life seem to be constantly squashed by the shit. But I have also realized that while some good things are temporary, so are the bad things. Nothing in life is ever definite, without the possibility of it being changed.”

Which is all fine and good that I held that quasi-belief then but it still didn’t answer my question: What the hell are we all doing here? I still didn’t have a purpose to my life, no meaning. Until I became a Christian, my life was all about pleasure and rebellion. I smoked pot, got wasted, and slept around because it was wild and free. There were no rules.

But my sophomore year of college, I started rethinking my take on life. I wasn’t happy. I was miserable. My life consisted of surviving each week to get to the weekend and then being so hammered and stoned all weekend that I didn’t remember half of it anyway. I thought to myself, “Is this ALL there is to life? This is IT?” I think Woody Allen started in that place–but he’s questioned it for so long with no answers that he has resigned himself to “This IS all there is and life is SHIT. I would kill myself but I don’t have the guts.” That is truly tragic. And I am sure that he is not alone in his feelings. I think it is common for atheists to feel that way (but most likely not that intense).

Without Christ, life is meaningless. Because only the Creator of the world can tell us what it all means, the reason why we’re all here. That was what drew me to Jesus in the first place–He was something to live for. I finally had something to live for, something to build my life around. I finally had a purpose. Reason #456,278 why I am so glad and thankful that God called me to be His.

2 Responses to “Life according to Woody Allen…”

  1. mrsleahmaria August 17, 2008 at 8:35 am #

    Wow. Growing up in a Christian family, albeit there were problems, I never struggled with the meaning of life.

    Sometimes my blinders are much, much too large to comprehend the level of despair in our world. That is really sad, as is WA perspective.

  2. Clay August 19, 2008 at 11:39 am #

    I actually read this article in Newsweek. What a depressing article to read on family vacation in the Grand Cayman!!! Good thing I don’t let myself think like Woody Allen.

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