All of the celebrity suicides over the past few days have left me thinking, not of libertarian politics, but of my own personal relationship with God, and though I don’t usually post religious messages, I do want to talk about my personal faith, and about my thoughts on the meaning of life, and of spiritualism in general. This will build upon my earlier post, on politics, and the meaning of life. To those who don’t like religious posts, I would ask that you not read this one, and to those of faith, I ask you to ignore the fact that most of my posts are on economics and/or politics. This one is not political.
We are all confronted every day with the meaninglessness of life, and for good reason. Life, by itself, is meaningless. We live lives of suffering and heartache, and if we are not suffering today, and are lucky enough not to have a close friend or family member who is suffering today, we are almost assured of suffering tomorrow. We can either live our lives in pursuit of trivialities to ease that suffering, such as sex and drugs, or we can accept that meaning comes from something far deeper than ourselves. Pleasure is fleeting, so pleasure cannot be the answer. Only God is eternal, and thus, only God can give our lives meaning.
Some may try center their spirituality in family and friends, but it is possible to outlive family and friends, and life must still have meaning even after that happens. Also, one who finds meaning in others gives those others a tremendous amount of control over their emotional well-being. There is no guarantee that a well-raised child will turn into a productive adult, or that a friendship will be valued. Finding spirituality in others is better than finding it one’s self, but it is still a mistake.
One can center their spirituality in their work, but there is no guarantee that one’s work will be meaningful, and we all must eventually retire. Anyone who grounds themselves in work will invariably wind up adrift.
Some find spirituality in their spouse, and I need look no further than mine to see the beauty God intends for us to find, but though I share my spirituality with my wife and am grounded by my love for her, she is not the source of my spirituality, nor its center.
Some find spirituality in nature, and nature is a good place to look, for God is in all things, so where better to look for Him than in nature?
My wife and I have friends who say that they are spiritual, but not religious. This always troubles me, for most of them look into themselves for their spirituality, and a spirituality of the self is inherently narcissistic. Only an outward spirituality can manifest itself in the lives of other people, and enrich the world around us. Spirituality must rest in God, and we can only truly know God through our relationship with His son, and our Lord, Jesus Christ.
If more celebrities embraced the love of Jesus Christ, they would understand that the meaning of their life is defined by divinity, and that their life always has meaning, even if they don’t always know what that meaning is. Without Jesus, life does not just seem hopeless; it truly is hopeless. None of us are divine, but we all have the divine spark, and if we ask, Jesus will help that spark grow.
My friend Marina Paris recently noted that ‘Man requires the humbling found in something greater,’ and no truer statement has ever been said. How can we help one another, without the humility to place others ahead of ourselves? Some ridicule religion, but I respond that the less the world has God, the more we need Him. I would choose to believe in the totality of what is good, even if I knew it to be false, and who are we to decide what is literal, what is figurative, and what the difference between ‘figurative’ and ‘literal’ even is? God transcends both. My faith provides direction, and when science tells me that the cosmos came into existence in a blinding flash of light, roughly fourteen billion years ago, it is clear to me that some force caused that to happen. I call that force God. You may call it by any name you choose.
Once we accept that God exists, the truth in the Bible becomes evident, for the Bible need not be literal to be true anymore than it needs to be from God to be the Word of God. The Bible was written to express our relationship with the world around us, and how we are supposed to act within it, and even if that is all it does, it still provides direction and value to what would otherwise be a bleak existence. The people who wrote the Bible were not scientists or archeologists, and were not concerned with scientific truth. Their concern was about the nature of existence, and when we look to describe the nature of something, we find truth even in fiction – fiction only being popular when it describes a deeper truth. As such, though an atheist may make me question how the Bible is God’s truth, nothing can shake my faith in the Bible being God’s truth. Jesus is the Word of God, so wherever the purity of truth is, that is where Jesus is waiting for us.
At the end of the day, I know two things: my being, and the Being of something greater than myself. The greater Being is in all things, and is evident in the divine spark I see all around me, including in all of the people of this world. If I wish to be a part of something greater, then I must wish to be a part of that divinity, and I can only join that divinity through my worship of God, through his Son, Jesus Christ.
If you are still reading this, then God bless you! Know that no matter how meaningless and trivial your life may at times seem to you, your meaning to God is as infinite as is His love.
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