First, I would like to say thank you all for the positive response to my last post, it was very cool! Second, I apologize that it’s been so long since my last post, but I’ve not really figured out exactly what I wanted to write. And third, I was planning on this post being related to aging and dementia; however, I haven’t really come up with all I want to talk about regarding that yet. Instead, I had another subject that I wrote on, since I could not fall asleep from thinking about it. I know that not everyone will appreciate this post, but I’m just writing on a subject that has come to my attention recently, as I said I planned to do in my introductory post. Without further ado, I hope you enjoy!
As far as I see, there is no point to life without God. If we consider life to just be a temporary existence followed by nothingness and a lack of existence, then what is the point of that temporary life? Pleasure, wealth, fame, relationships, knowledge? None of these mean anything once you die. Perhaps some would have an influence after your death, but you will never know this nor experience it. And but for a few exceptional instances you will be lost in history, even if you make a temporarily lasting impact. Certainly, if I were not a child of God and did not know that there is eternity, I would have killed myself for sure.
Because of Christ, there is a point to life. The point is to make much of God, to enjoy Christ, to store up riches in heaven, and to glorify God in all that we do, even eating and drinking. Through the liberty brought about by Christ’s death and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are given much choice in how we do this, such as occupation and where we live. This amount of choice can be overwhelming.
I am a gamer. And as a gamer, I often consider non-game things in game terms. One such instance is in consideration of how to live in a way that exemplifies the point of life. One game I enjoy playing a lot is called League of Legends. In this game, I usually play ADC (attack damage carry) champions, many of those that I play being considered “late-game” champions as well. A game of League of Legends can be thought of as having three distinct phases (though contiguous and somewhat ambiguous at times to differentiate): early-game, mid-game, and late-game. The importance of considering these phases in game comes from a few different reasons, one being that different champions are particularly good at certain phases. Certain champions are very strong early-game but become relatively weaker as the game progresses, while others are nearly useless early-game but can completely carry the team when you reach late-game. Knowing when your champion excels in the game is important. It allows you to play around your strengths and understand your weak points. And knowing when your champion becomes strong is notable for late-game champions, because you want to reach that point as fast as possible. To do so, you need to get as many resources (in the form of gold to buy items, as well as experience to gain levels) as efficiently as possible. You need to optimize your ability to collect resources as quickly as possible to make your late-game as effective as it can be.
So, I’d like to think of our temporal lives on earth as the early- and mid-game portions of our existence and our time after death spent in eternity (this being in heaven, as a Christian) being the late-game portion of our existence. We are intended for eternity—for late-game. The question becomes: how do we optimize our early- and mid-game to most efficiently use it to prepare for late-game? If the point of life is to make much of God, to enjoy Christ, to store up riches in heaven, and to glorify God in all that we do, as stated earlier, then how do we most efficiently live our temporal lives for this? We are allowed freedoms and choices in the liberty of Christ, but are all choices equal (under an assumption that they are not sinful)? If they are not, then there must be certain choices and paths that are more optimal. That is not to say that certain choices and paths are universally more optimal, but rather that individually there are choices that are more efficient for our late-game goal, if our choices are not equal. I want to have the best late-game possible, so I want to live in a way that optimizes the use of my weak and sinful early- and mid-game for that goal. I just don’t know what the optimal route is.
How then do we determine what the optimal route is? 2 Peter 1:3-9 ESV says,
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, though the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”
This shows that those who believe in Christ having died for our sins and resurrected have been granted “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” God has revealed Himself through His Word, which is Christ. So it would seem that 2 Peter indicates that we need to read God’s Word and petition Him through the Holy Spirit. In addition, this passage gives us a list of qualities to pursue, for we are told that “if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We are even warned that if these qualities are not ours then be are “so nearsighted” that we are “blind.” I want to see these qualities increasing in me, so I need to make every effort to supplement my faith with these virtues. But I am weak and human, so I need God to act in me to accomplish this. If I want God to act in me, then I need to pray to Him for that.
So, this seems to be the at least the preliminary aspect of determining the optimal route: reading God’s Word and prayer. These are not the final point, but rather they are steps to determine the next step. This is not a one-time thing. As with the fact that these qualities should be increasing, not just increased, I must continually come back to God’s Word and come to Him in prayer. If I do not, then I will simply hit a dead end at some point, I will find myself feeling lost and without direction in another sort of existential crisis. As I need to keep coming back to these, I also need to keep coming back to and reminding myself of the whole basis for this sort of relationship being possible: the gospel. I need to keep reminding myself of the gospel. I need to teach myself every day of how I have sinned against God by breaching His laws that He established in His righteousness. Because of this, I deserve to have God’s wrath poured out on me and to be damned to hell for eternity, and God is perfectly just, so He must punish my sin. However, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect, human life and die for my sins, to then be resurrected three days later. Because of Christ, God’s just wrath is satisfied. What’s more, Christ has given me His righteousness so that God now sees me as righteous. It is incredible! But it is so easy to gloss over after time. This is why these things are so necessary to keep coming back to.