The autobiography of G. Stanley Jones is titled A Song of Ascent, and it’s considered to be a spiritual classic. Jones was a great man: a missionary to India, a friend to Gandhi, a tireless world traveler, and a great writer and speaker.
Now, what is amazing to me is that this book was actually his third attempt at an autobiography. He was 83 years old at the time. Jones had written two previous books but had been unwilling to publish them. The first, he said, was too filled with the little events of his life — things he judged not worth telling. In the second attempt, he tried to take the events of his life and to use them to philosophize about life in general. But even this, he decided, was not the right focus. The third time, he determined, he was going to begin with Jesus. What he discovered after two bad attempts was that he had been working backwards; he had been working from events of life to the Christ Event. And now, in his third attempt, he discovered the secret. As he would say in his introduction to that third book: “Christ has been, and is to me, the Event.
Jones tells a story about an African, who, after he was baptized, changed his name, calling himself “After.” What he was saying was that everything in his life happened “after” he met Christ. Jones felt that that was also the description of his own life. Everything that happened to me, he stated, happened to me after I met Christ.
In his first two attempts, he had been too events-centered and not enough Event-centered. In the third and successful book, he concentrated on the Event and worked back to the events, understanding his own life in the light of Christ.
Our lives take on meaning when we see them in light of the day we accepted Christ. Jesus is the center, the Prime Mover, and the reason for our being. Everything finds purpose in Him.