Building paradise

At the beginning of William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies a party of school children are stranded on a desert island without any adults. For the first time in their lives, they can do as they please. The prospect of being able to indulge in unbridled freedom brings a previously unknown joy. Sadly, their attempt to build utopia quickly descends into chaos as the selfishness of their human hearts and lack of any accountability create a violent and disordered world. By the end of the book Ralph, who was the first to celebrate the lack of adult supervision, is running for his life and moments from being murdered when his life is saved by the arrival of an adult. Not having grown-ups on the island wasn’t such a good thing after all. 

The book mirrors something of our human experience. Created to thrive in submission to God we constantly fall for the deceit that we would have more fun in a world without him. But history demonstrates that left to our own devices our selfish human hearts destroy rather than create freedom. Like the boys in Golding’s book the fulness of life that we crave is not suffocated by belief in God, but rather made possible by him.

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