I often think about death. Not in the i-wanna-kill-myself way but death as in if I died today, have I lived in pursuit of what’s most important or did I spend my life chasing after nonessentials rendering my entire existence meaningless?
It’s a sobering thought- one that brings my head in the clouds back to earth.
To the truth that despite my youth and the seemingly endless horizon before me, my days are numbered and I don’t know how much longer I have to live on this earth.
I remember reading about this young promising writer from Yale. Before graduating she wrote an article addressed to her batch and in it she wrote: We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. She was wrong- she didn’t have much time. She got into a car accident with her boyfriend just after graduation and died.
The truth is, we can’t say for certain how much time we have. We can’t say for certain that we still have time because we don’t know that. We don’t know if we’ll wake up to see tomorrow. And yet we live as though we’re going to live forever.
Sometimes I think that a meaningful life meant being successful and having a huge paycheck but when I dwell on the idea, I end up wondering what being successful even meant and if happiness, at the end of the day, truly came with it. Many people are deemed successful by the world yet they don’t seem content with what they have. Always searching. Always striving. The same goes for money- people never seem to have enough of it. Always working. Always accumulating. But never satisfied.
What an empty existence.
When I try to live by the standards of this world and strive for the things it considers important, I find myself feeling empty and discontent. Even my desire for greatness, even this early I realize, is a never ending journey towards an elusive and ever changing abstract destination.
So what then makes life meaningful?
The Bible gives this answer: …love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38
God’s greatest command to us is the love him with all our being. A life that is meaningful is a life lived in pursuit of this command paving the way for us to glorify and please Him with every fiber of our being.
If I live in pursuit of that, then it doesn’t matter how much time I have on earth – I have not missed my life’s purpose. I shall have lived enough.