"I've led such a little life. And even that will be over pretty soon.
I have allowed myself to lead this little life, when inside me there was so much more. And it's all gone unused. And now it never will be.
Why do we get all this life if we don't ever use it? Why do we get all these feelings and dreams and hopes if we don't ever use them? That's where I disappeared to. I got lost in all this unused life."
It's one of the ways that C S Lewis used to speak of evidence for God -
when we have a genuine need or desire for something (food, drink and the like), it is because
that need is there to be fulfilled, and our inner 'hunger' for a communion with God is that deep and that real. Perhaps that is part of the reason why this life is never as 'big' as at should be, and most certainly why it's scarred with pain and anguish instead of intensely lasting, satisfying joy. To paraphrase Lewis again, its similar to when we are seeking to enjoy nature - we sense its great beauty, but we still find ourselves detached from it, dislocated because we are, indeed, disconnected from the level of inter-action which should be ours.
Lewis was spot on, and that's why there's such a real dissatisfaction with countless 'religious' or 'philosophical' solutions to the problem - they want us to look elsewhere for comfort, for our time here is brief, merely to be transcended in some form.
Is what we are, what we long for really that meaningless?
There are plenty, when you weigh what they have to say, that are actually replying 'yes',
but the Gospel of Jesus Christ sees things very differently...
Christianity directly addresses the 'Shirley Valentine' issue head on. Life is meant to be totally satisfying, totally significant, totally meaningful, but it can't be until it's rejuvenated by truly deriving from its source - a world made whole by God in Christ.
Our bodies fail us. Our minds become weak. Life is quick and fleeting, so reflect upon what that deep inner hunger for more life is really trying to say. Where is the solution? It's certainly not within ourselves or those who would merely seek to talk it away!
It's at moments like that I'm so grateful to know that my redeemer lives, and that one day, I will stand again clothed in my flesh upon the earth because of Him, and because of Him, I will be able to revel in creation and in life as it was intended to be.There is something beyond the sorrow, and it can aid us in our time of trouble.
Shirley Valentine's question matters, so think long and hard about where the answer lies...