Thursday, March 02, 2006

muse

There have been a few times recently when watching a movie or reading a book when I feel as though I see my life in a clear light—it’s as if for a second the fog clears, nakedly exposing what the heck my life is. I envy those inspirational stories of people my age who pursue justice, hang out with the poor, seek truth, and fight for answers in far away countries. And it leads me to wonder if what I am doing with my life is in any way accomplishing or leading towards any kind of common good. Or have I become diluted by vain N. American promises and ideals, have I forgot the people I met in impoverished countries, their justice and their need for truth, have I narrowed my mind to the mundane, do I only care only for myself. In these moments there is a strong sensation of discontent—my life does not align with my virtues. But how can ones life be judged if not by his virtues? It is the few and far between who seek virtuous living, and even then it is mostly a conscience-appeasing living which attempts to amend the conflict between personal interests and virtuous living via justification and philosophical summersaults. One such summersault that I’ve been thinking bout recently is the quote “Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Many selfish things make people feel alive, but do they come alive doing those things? Is not true life found in the pursuit of service to others so that we can “come alive”?
Temporal, immediate satisfaction: search for thing to come alive = come alive = help other people

But, does “coming alive” give us eternal meaning? I would argue that in order for a finite being to have purpose, it must have infinite meaning. If a finite being is without infinite meaning, it is aimless and in search of temporary solutions to simulate purpose in order to convince the person that life is still worth living.
Goal focused, satisfaction in journey: Search for infinite meaning = by helping others = infinite meaning

I suggest that this is the finest goal; to lead life in the pursuit of infinite meaning—this can mean hanging with the poor, seeking truth, pursuing justice, talking with that kid, or fighting for answers in far away countries. There is no worse fate that I can think of other than laying on my death bed with a mind full of regrets that I had spent my life on temporal acquisitions instead of just doing something.

I think that made sense...

7 comments:

Béthany said...

that made sense to me. i have been recently brought to tears by one htings i read in a book that summed up all my recent thoughts...i have recently read "Velvet Elvis" by Rob Bell and "Through Painted deserts" by Donald Miller, both books good enough to last a year standing alone...and just finished posting a sentence on my blog that was a product of what i've been thinking these past weeks. you have inspired me to write more on what i have been thinking. brent, i still find it creepy how parrallel our thoughts run sometimes...you're so far away, how come we end up thinking about the same stuff at the same times?

m.melissa.h said...

everything i wrote for a comment sounded lame. so i'll just say. it made sense.

Miss Courtnay said...

Many selfish things make people feel alive, but do they come alive doing those things?
The struggle of my life, even in this moment. Is captured in that statement.

Polythene Pam said...

I think about that. It's hard sometimes, but I also know God has me where he has me at any give moment for a reason and I don't have to be doing something dramatic to be being used by him... and I think being used by him is what ACTUALLY makes people alive weather they know it or not - but there are many ways he can choose to do that. Goind to college and working in a cafeteria can be one of them. But, since he has a heart for the poor that's why it often makes people feel alive to help - because it aligns with his heart. That's what I was thinking about anyway...

person said...

the eternal paradox - the greater the self focus, the greater the misery and futility. our society is one big useless hamster wheel.

Ryan said...

you're smrt. you should write a book or something.

m.melissa.h said...

I saw you today. twice. i'm not gonna lie it made me smile. white rock it is.