On the walk between Tim Horton’s and my apartment, this poster hangs on the side of one of the buildings:
And every time I find myself wondering which answer the poster expects. A philosophy professor once told me never to use questions in an essay, as the answer the reader wants to give may not be the one you expect to hear.
Considering that the poster hangs on the side of a church, and is advertising something called an Alpha Course, it’s a pretty safe bet that the more-to-life the poster refers to is God, or at least something religious. Now, the website for this program sounds like it’s asking neutral questions—”Does God exist?” for example—as if the program really is trying to answer the question, but looking closer at the material on the site, especially some of the video lectures, it’s quite clear that the answer is going to be “Yes”. No surprise.
Here’s the problem. If the answer to the question on the poster is “yes”, that there is something more to life than “this”, why does the “this” pictured look so appealing? I’m sure there are quite a lot of people who would say that climbing to some high peak and revelling in both that accomplishment and the grand picture of nature laid out before is exactly what life is about. Experiencing the world around us to the fullest. So, no, there is not more to life than these grand adventures. That’s why for the longest time I hoped that the poster was advertising a mountain climbing club or a safari adventure travelling group of some kind.
I understand that they’re probably trying to show off the majesty of God’s creation by using this photo. But surely the point is that there’s more to life than the regular day-to-day stuff that we all live though. That’s what should have been pictured. “Is there more to life than this?” next to some burnt out office worker or some otherwise miserable person. The answer then, is more obivously “yes”, and more people might be inclined to try the course to get more information on the subject.
As it stands, I still look at that picture and think, “No, that actually looks pretty awesome. Where can I sign up for this mountain climbing adventure you promise?” God disappoints yet again.