Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Small Pond

Every story we read, or movie we watch has a few, or usually just one, central character who is the de facto point of the story. I think this reflects our perception that we are primary in the universe, that our struggle is meaningful, etc. The truth is, that as you expand out into the history of mankind, you are a dustspeck, if visible at all. Not worth mentioning. The most important people you've met are no more than a footnote. The most important people alive are probably just a paragraph or two.

Even if you slice it different ways -- well, the important thing is to be good at this one thing, or even closer, "The important thing is to be humble". Etc. Do you really think you're the most humble person in a century? Or even one of the top contenders? Or even one of the most humble people at your church?

I've spent so much time slicing the world to make myself as close to the center as I can. It doesn't work. Christ is at the center.

And yet, ironically, it is in Christ that we can regain the meaning of our own individuality. If He knew us before the foundations of the earth, and if He considered the ultimate price not too much for redeeming us, what does it matter if, in the eyes of the world, in my own eyes, or even in actual fact, I am not a person with anything to distinguish myself. I am an individual in relation to the only One whose relationship matters. I don't need to be good at guitar, have a successful career, open the eyes of the blind or convert the heathen to be significant.

Which is a good thing! Because, really, I never will gain significance in those things.


Sungkhum said...

So then what is the basis of all striving? What motivates you to play guitar, have a job, and be good at things (we all have desire, so how do we use it?)?

This should effect everything we do - should it not?

Ben said...

"Cease striving, and know that I am God." ... ? Of course, I'm not really going to cease striving, am I? And if I did, I think people would probably say, what a bad Christian or person or whatever. Maybe the motivation is in, "Go and sin no more" or better yet "Love one another as I have loved you" or even still "Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me" rather than "I want to be the best of the best". Once again the meaning is found in relation to Christ, and what he asks of you. You personally, not you as a member of a huge number of Christians throughout history. "Work out your salvation w/ fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you"