I think I may be going through a mid-life crisis , and I started a blog during this period or maybe because of it. Either way, you may have to go through it with me. I have been thinking a lot lately about what I am doing and to what end I am doing it. I feel like I am so busy doing things yet going nowhere at the same time, kind of like a hamster wheel of life. What is it about ourselves that causes us to live like this, being constantly busy, but achieving so little?
We fill our days with mundane tasks of mediocrity, tediously crossing off our checklists just to be rewritten next week. We busy ourselves with running errands, taxing our kids from event to event, spending countless hours completing to-do lists around the house. We spend hours shaping our bodies in gyms, running on treadmills, riding our bikes in circles. These are even considered the productive activities. But how much of our time do we spend watching T.V., or playing video games, or browsing the internet with no destination in mind? We just fill our time with nothingness.
Of course what I view as nothingness or worthless, you may give defense to. If I say working out is meaningless you may retort with all the benefits it has of how we will live longer, healthier lives, or by working harder at our jobs will give us greater success in life. But I guess my thought comes from a quote I read recently from Francis Chan. “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but at succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” With all this stuff we do, what does it mean in the scheme of life as we know it? How are we adding to society, how are we creating our legacy? Do I want people to think of me as the guy who knew a lot of movie or T.V. quotes, or be remembered by my internet browsing prowess? For that matter, would it be better if I was remembered as being successful at my job and earned enough money to retire early and move to Florida and start a seashell collection? Is the American dream really just that? Make a lot a money to live an easier life to fulfill self satisfying motives? Along the way to this dream we watch sports on T.V.,or Dancing With the Stars, or Jersey Shore in the interim. We fill our lives with empty pursuits to achieve an empty goal.
In the Bible it says, in Mat 6:19 -20, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” I think we need to start living with eternity in mind with eternal goals. I am continually reminded of verses like Jas1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Isa 58:7, “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”
Isa 58:10, “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.”
Mat 6:2-4, “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
These are some examples of living with eternity in mind, creating eternal consequences. This, however, doesn’t mean some of the ordinary mundane tasks in life cannot incorporate these ideas. When you are the taxi driver for your children you can be using that time to build relationships with them and teach them. Deu 11:19, “You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise,” for example. So the nothingness can turn into something-ness if we live with a greater purpose in mind, and more intentionally. Don’t let life just pass you by filled with times of empty living, rather live extra-ordinary making an impact on those around you with eternal goals with eternal consequences and not temporary materialistic ones which will blow away like sand in the winds of time.