Updated: Mar 9, 2019
One of the 20th century’s most celebrated authors was American John Cheever (1912-1982), who in March 1977 appeared on the cover of Newsweek with the caption, "A Great American Novel: John Cheever's Falconer." This book was No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list for three weeks.
Yet, even with all that success, he would write: “I have no biography. I came from nowhere and I don’t’ know where I am going.”
Ouch! Cheever might have not known where he came from or where he was going. But he did come from somewhere, and he was also going somewhere too, even if he didn’t know where either place was. In that one sentence he caught, perhaps, the essence of the human dilemma: coming from somewhere, and ending up somewhere, but not knowing where either one is can be hard, if not impossible, left to ourselves.
The natural world itself doesn’t teach us our ultimate origins, nor does it teach us our ends other than that we disintegrate. In order to know where we came from and where we are going, we need revelation, truths that are spelled out to us because we could never figure them out ourselves.
And our origins and our ends, these two somewheres, are exactly what we have been given in the Word of God. Our origins: we are beings created by God and in the “image of God,” (Genesis 1:27). Our ends: a place without pain and suffering in “a new heavens and a new earth,” (Isaiah 16:22) for those who have the salvation God offers us all.
We didn’t come from nowhere, and we can know where we are going, thanks to the written revelation God has given us. Otherwise, we’d sadly, like John Cheever, have no idea, not only of these two “somewheres,” but probably how to best live between them.