At this moment I am sitting on the patio. It is a warm summer day with an icy wind. Above my laptop I see the ocean waves crashing on the beach with the beautiful, hazy clouds above.
This week I started reading C. S. Lewis’s Miracles, which is amazing and I’m finishing Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, probably the best novel I’ve ever read. Yesterdy I bought two new books. The one is the classical Arabian Nights and the other is Annals by Tacitus, the renowned Roman historian .
I really love my books. Not any books, but the books I like; apologetics, classics and history.
There’s another thing I like: having a life. Besides God nothing is more precious to me than spending time with my friends. Last night as I sat at this same spot I got this very strong urge to walk around the neighborhood in the dark. What I would have given to have my friends here, perhaps sitting around a fire with them on the beach.
As I’m writing everyone in the house is asleep. I was on my phone on Facebook when, as often happens, I get consumed by this feeling of utter meaninglessness of my life. My life has meaning in Christ and that is something no atheist will ever have. The meaning I lack, or think I lack, refers to things I do which will have no lasting impact. Will reading my apologetics books ever truly help someone on his quest for truth? What is the point, ultimately, of reading these classics, such as Dostoyevsky?
As I wrote the above paragraph I realised that there is some use in it. The apologetics is bound to come in handy, yet I am never able to convey to others what I learnt. The life stories I read in Dostoyevsky, I admit, will probably impact my life and influence the direction it will take. So I guess there is some meaning.
Yet this sense of meaninglessness also goes to my studies, international relations. At the end of the day, and I know it is dark to say it, it doesn’t matter whether or not people in the Middle East died of age or died by barrel bombs. There is no eternal significance in it. The only part with true meaning in this sense is their souls. Getting them to the true knowledge of Christ will not just give them hope in this lifetime, but lead to life eternal. Eternity. That is what matters.
Do not get me wrong. Because I have empathy for the suffering in the world I am studying politics. My goal is (was?) to use my political knowledge to hopefully, in some way which is seeming ever more obscure, some day, alleviate the suffering of these people. I realise this is also not without meaning. We are created in the image of God. That in itself and His love for us give us intrinsic worth and therefore we have reason in trying to help others achieve a better living in this life.
Yet what nags me is that, at the end, the preacher who saves their souls is doing an infinitely more meaningful thing than me who wants to save their mortal bodies.
P. S. Simply writing this post made me consider my own words: I am working to save the image of God, personified in all those who live. A new thought.