Why are we here? Our work is pointless!
By Brian Forbes
(C) 2011 Brian Forbes
I was sitting by myself at lunch today, listening to the conversations around me. Some talked about work. Some talked about politics. Some talked about their experiences. I was struck by the notion that (almost) all we do is pointless. Even this thought has been pondered before I was ever here. "Everything under the sun is meaningless, like chasing the wind." (Ecc. 1:14)
Think about any occupation. Teaching: been done before, and honestly, are you really even worthy of this post? You've been alive, what, 40 years? Building buildings: that's the industry I work in, meaningless! God could do it in far less time, with far more interesting stuff. This occupation seems to be meaningless to me. It's more of a curse than a blessing.
So, I thought to myself, what can I do in my life that God can't do better? I thought, and I thought. I thought some more. I could learn. God can't learn. Ha! That's nothing to boast about. I am created. God can't say that about Himself. Bugs are created. They can probably learn too. I'm no better than a bug. I thought some more. I can love God! Now, that's something nobody can do; you can't adequately love yourself. But, even then, the nature of the trinity lets God love Himself for all of eternity. I think of those higher things I've applied myself to throughout my life. I studied computers. That was worthless. Hardware pricing kept changing. Hardware compatibility too. Software knowledge is fleeting, some software faster than others, but still. All the things I program will be programmed better by someone else, eventually. Even if it doesn't, God could do it in a split second, with the ability to heal itself and grow. That would be real AI. Then I think about my studies. I tried my faith. I looked into other religions. I learned a lot about apologetics. The fact is, God already knows this stuff, and He can prove that He exists to anyone. He doesn't have to use fancy arguments. I think about my book. God knows how it all started, and, really, others have written my book better than I did - hundreds of years ago. Even if the information has been largely forgotten in the modern day, it doesn't make it unknown to God. I bet someone else in the modern day has written the book better than I have, and I'll probably read the guy's book some day. I'm not unique in this. God can instruct us better than I can instruct you. So, really, I can't think of anything that I've done in my entire life that is worth the mention. Medicine, preaching, growing, creating, planning, networking, God can do it.
I thought of something that I can do that God can't do. I can be a recipient of his gifts. I can accept his mercy, and feel is favor. This is something. I can learn his wisdom, and practice his values. This really is something. As I try to shoot this notion down with the "others have done it", it falls flat. Nobody complains that others have enjoyed a TV show or book before I did. Nobody says, "I don't need to go on that ride, Freddy already did it." This is really hitting on something. We are not here to do a work. We are here to enjoy a work. We are not here to imagine up a work, but to join in on one that is already being accomplished. Everything else is useless, it seems to me. Our efforts really are meaningless.