Long before the dawn of the computer age and concern over the alleged influence of Russian hacking, the fate of nations and the tides of war lay in the power of cryptography. During World War II, the best and the brightest were pressed into service as cryptographers seeking to create and break unbreakable codes. The stories of these unsung men and women have been recounted in recent movies such as Windtalkers and The Imitation Game.
One of the most significant of these crypto-analysts was British mathematician, Alan Turing. Turing led a team of researchers at Britain’s infamous Bletchley Park lab to build a machine capable of decoding messages encrypted by Hitler’s famed Enigma machines. Turing’s machine, or Automated Computing Engine, was the earliest electro-mechanical computer, a machine which revolutionized the modern age.
Despite Turing’s brilliance and achievement in cracking the world’s foremost cryptographical enigma, however, he could not decode the ultimate enigma, the meaning of life. His untimely death by cyanide poisoning in 1954 was ruled a suicide. Turing was not the first notable man in history to grapple with the enigma of meaning and meaninglessness. Solomon, in the Bible, had done it all. He had unparalleled wisdom, wealth and experience, but he still wrestled with the same ultimate questions of meaning and meaningless that create existential angst for each of us today.
Solomon, directed by the Holy Spirit, recorded his reflections for us in the book of Ecclesiastes. Join us, Friday mornings from 7:00 – 8:00 am at Panera Bread, 10701 Kanis Rd, Little Rock, for fellowship, prayer and discussion, as we gather with other men to learn from Ecclesiastes what makes the difference between meaningful and meaningless life so we can decipher our own enigma.