Many years ago I bet my life that Jesus was right about God and the meaning of life. I’ve held to that course, but not without many a wavering doubt. How can one be certain that he or she has the winning cards in hand? A gamble means taking that chance.
The atheist also takes a gamble when he bets his life that God is not. This doesn’t mean he is not a good person. It doesn’t mean that he is stupid. The sincere atheist, as an honest thinker, has concluded that man is alone in his struggles and he has some very good reasons for thinking that way. This doesn’t make the atheist happy, but then, happiness, even for the Christian, should never be the primary consideration. The primary consideration is always what makes sense of life after a careful and thoughtful search. The atheist, like the Christian, also lives with doubt as all gamblers do.
|"Who knows where the road goes?"|
If the Christian and the atheist are honest, both will honor doubt, because both have experienced so much of it in their own internal dialogue. If God is, how is it that there is so much unmerited suffering in the world? If God is not, and we are alone in our struggles, then man’s “origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms…(Bertrand Russell).” The greatest gamble in life is to bet one’s life on God is, or God is not, but like every gamble, the gambler will experience doubt because no one knows what the end of the game might be. You have to gamble—with all the doubt that comes with taking that chance. You have to trust the bet of your life. The saddest thing is not to have gambled at all! Socrates said that the “unexamined life is not worth living.” It may also be true that if we don’t bet our lives on anything and if we don't take our stand, then life is not worth the living.