In this week’s Monday Media Meltdown, let’s look at one of the most frank commentaries on human existence I have heard in years, uttered by an alien in a Doctor Who episode.
Seven words, that’s all it took for a dalek to summarize human existence in the 2005 episode “Dalek.” For the uninitiated, a dalek is an ultimate killing machine, part of a race that had discarded most of their physical body except a brain and had stripped themselves of emotion and any desire except to exterminate all other races.
Mortally wounded, this killing machine absorbed some human genetic material in order to repair itself. Unwittingly, it mutated, and started experiencing some of what it means to be human in this current world. It felt fear, loneliness, uncertainty, and lack of purpose for the first time. Its conclusion: “This is not life! This is sickness!” It soon thereafter committed suicide.
What a brutally concise but accurate summation of its impression of human existence: “This is not life! This is sickness!”
The dalek was more honest than many human philosophers have been, but was in agreement with the dire prediction that God had given to the progenitors of our race so many years ago when He warned them, “In the day that you eat of the tree you shall surely die.”
Some have said God meant it metaphorically, or spiritually, or simply said that Adam would begin to die. I think we come up with all these answers because we cannot comprehend how dead we are now, and how alive our first parents were before sin. The existence that Adam and Eve had originally, free of all fear and loneliness and uncertainty and shame and sickness and weakness and pain, was so far transcendant above our existence today that the difference truly is as great as between death and life. They were alive, in every sense of the word, while their descendants now walk as ones dead, sick beyond description.
No wonder the dalek wanted to end his existence.
But we, meanwhile, mostly amuse & delude ourselves with trivial things like money and power and pleasures, trying to put out of our minds how desperate & terminal our condition really is.
But God sent a Great Physician to us in His mercy. One who said He had been sent to the sick. One who said He had been sent so that we might have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) One who said that He was the only way to life (John 14:6), a completely new type of existence, a new type of life that would have no end. (John 3) So much so that His beloved disciple would state that, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:12 ESV)
The question on the table is: Have you experienced this new type of life available only through Jesus Christ, or are you still marooned in the existence that you were born into as a child of humanity, the existence the dalek concluded was worse than no life at all?