The critically acclaimed book The Moviegoer by Walker Percy is a novel about a man named Binx who, about to turn 30, is fascinated with the idea of the search.
Really, it is very simple, at least for a fellow like me, so simple that it is easily overlooked.
The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. This morning, for example, I felt as if I had come to myself on a strange island. And what does such a castaway do? Why, he pokes around the neighborhood and he doesn’t miss a trick.
To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair.”
Essentially, Binx’s idea of the search makes a lot of sense to me. I think we get so wrapped up in the minutiae of our lives that we miss the bigger picture, we miss what is authentic or worthwhile. However, I’m not entirely sold on the part of the search that says that the everydayness is despair, or as Binx calls it, the malaise. I believe, instead, that the everyday is evidence of something bigger going on, and that in their own way all of the little everyday encounters of our lives work to teach us who we are and why we’re here.
Even though The Moviegoer is clearly fictional, reading about Binx’s search has helped to remind me this week that it’s okay not to have everything figured out. Binx is 30 years old and still has no idea what life means or what he wants to be, so I guess it’s okay that at 21 years old, a week out of college, I don’t have a perfect, foolproof plan for my life. Sure, it’s hard, and sometimes I doubt what I’m doing or should be doing, but I keep reminding myself, and friends and family help to remind me, that no one really has it all figured out. All we can do is continue the search, and rely on what the world, what people, and, at least for me, what God are telling us and keep living and keep searching.