Here’s a thought somewhat connected to the thoughts from my previous post:
If God is the only one who can make things matter, then God is ultimately the only one who matters. And if God is the only one who matters, then I – insofar as I live for myself – don’t matter.
Wait – hold on a second – did I just hear myself right? Did I just say that I don’t matter? Come on now, I couldn’t have really meant that. I mean, after all, if I ever want to do anything special with my life, I have to believe in myself, right? Isn’t that what everyone says? In order to “get to the top” and be successful, I first have to respect myself, follow my heart, and look out for “Number One.” I’m supposed to look deep within myself to find my inner worth and thereby discover that I am capable of doing great things simply because I am special by my own merit.
At least, that’s what everyone tells me. Therefore, how dare I say that I don’t matter? Why…a statement like that might be bad for my self-esteem.
Our whole culture revolves around self – me, my wants, my goals, my dreams, my ambitions – it’s all about living for ourselves and getting the most out of our lives. We are told that the answers to all of life’s problems are deep within ourselves, and consequently, nobody ever stops to think that maybe the “answer” isn’t actually within us at all.
For me, one of the most difficult things I could ever do is to NOT live for myself. It goes against the very grain of human nature. We live for the things we love, and let’s face it, most of us love ourselves. In fact, if you think about it, this is probably why catchy phrases like “follow your heart” and “respect yourself” are so popular – they simply encourage us to do what comes naturally. They don’t challenge us to see ourselves for what we really are.
And what are we really? For that matter, what am I? Am I really all that special compared to other people? I could spend my whole life living for myself, furthering my goals, following my ambitions, satisfying my desires, clamoring for everything this world has to offer, and in the end, I would just die like everyone else, and all my greed wouldn’t really seem to matter anymore.
So here’s the question:
Do I really want to waste my life on myself?
If I live for myself, then everything I do on this earth would be pointless – my life would be a waste of breath. It all gets back to the main point: If God is the only one that matters, then as long as I live for myself, I don’t matter and everything I do is pointless. It’s a simple logical progression.
But here’s the flipside:
If God is the only one that can make things matter, then God is ultimately the only one who matters. And if God is the only one who matters, then I – in so far as I live for God – do matter.