I have a confession to make, I am trapped. Plagued by a thought that I can only assume everyone thinks about but nobody dares discuss. Actually it is more of a recurring anxiety.
I have never gotten my head around the fact that my life has little or no purpose. And that there is very little I can ever do with my life that will carry on any sort of significance beyond my demise. I question myself, I ask; in the end is my life going to count? Will I have made an ounce of difference in the lives of anyone I've tried to reach out to? Have I ever really fully extended my arm? Is the job I do, day in and day out just a distraction from the fact that my life has and never will have any purpose? I mean, was I really created to just consume and exist, copulate and die... to be just another burden on our Earth's rapidly depleting natural resources. Am I pumping knowledge and character into a soul that will simply one day just whither and die, just as I reach the peak of my wisdom?
These are my thoughts. My anxiety is my confession.
Maybe life isn't it. Maybe retirement is not my life's big goal. Is death even the end? If it isn't, why do we clutch hold of our lives so firmly? After a few years of study (or at least close attention to the topic) I realised that life has to be just preparation for eternity. Meaning that regardless of how hard we try to cruise through our comfortable, crowd-following lives there are certain things we need to know, choices that have to be made, tests that must be passed and character that has to be forged. And as a result, death itself is not the end, just a change of residence. Our loving hearts will exist far beyond their burial.
Anberlin vocalist Stephen Christian pleads "The greatest tragedy is not your death but a life without reason" in his song "Never take friendship Personal" and I couldn't agree more, at least when you die you get to go to heaven. But without direction or a reason to live, people just tend to curl up in depression, I can relate to this personally. Many people become not only incapable of any sort of love but also seem to lose even the love they reserved for themselves. Razorblades and sedatives become attractive realities.
Nobody ever had a childhood dream of living a selfish life where they just existed and consumed. I know I didn't, I desired fun, I craved excitement, I chased a job that I could be respected in and an unselfish life that left a legacy in its wake. I feel so frustrated and defeated sometimes though because I catch myself craving so many selfish things that I never thought I would desire, I catch myself deviating from the path I've been called along. I realise how pathetic and petty I am and I hate it. I can't go a day without caffeine. That scares me. I have a need for constant companionship. Which makes me question who I really depend on and I battle with my own thoughts; depression, lust, pride etc.
I can't help but think that if I was able to let go of all my dependencies and step out a little more, be that bit more passionate, my dreams may already be being fulfilled. I may not be addicted to any drugs (other than caffeine) but I am definitely addicted to the chemicals my brain produces as a result of these lifestyle dependencies. I indulge daily in the chemical my brain produces to make me feel comfortable and the chemical that makes me feel apathetic. I recognise it, but like any drug addict I often feel helpless.
I see men twenty or thirty years older than me working a similar job to mine living with similar chemical dependencies and I wonder if I could continue doing a job, feeding a dependency that is so totally soul destroying for such a huge portion of my life. Also will the security of a mortgage buy me a life stripped of freedom? And is my job a false purpose, something to do every day to cover the fact that life is meaningless?
I probably know the answers to most of these questions, perhaps if I stepped out, stepped away from my fears, my anxieties, the comfort, the indifference and the apathy I might receive some clarity in taking my next step in what I'm really supposed to focus on right now.
I have been a Christian for over four years now, the answers are all there but aren't always the ones I want hear. Jesus Christ followed a simple rule, he taught followers two primary over ruling commandments, these are; not to hold anything back in our love for God and to unselfishly love others, focusing on those less fortunate. And the New Testament's main writer Paul stated that he existed (resisted his urges to take his own life) only to live to help others. These things are such a challenge in our complicated post post-modern world but selflessness is so desperately lacking and therefore always needs significant thought when we are looking to focus our attention on our life's purpose. I also keep in the back of my mind that the only thing of any long term eternal significance, and therefore the only thing that will really satisfy this yearning in life is to let people know about the result of Christ's sacrifice thus hopefully taking people to the same place that I am heading when I depart.
I guess I am searching for clarity as much as the next guy, my hope is that I gave anyone who is enduring enough to reach the bottom of this blog some ideas to think about and not something that will throw your mind into disarray. Please tell me your thoughts.