Running in Circles

Do you ever wonder what the point of  life is? You get up every day and go to work, come home and eat dinner, hang out for a few minutes before bed, and then do it all over again the next day. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. There are many things that I would like to accomplish, things that I feel might matter in the long-run, but then there’s the pesky problem of working 8 to 5, buying groceries and cooking dinners, doing laundry, paying bills, and on and on the list goes of the things we must do to survive but find no real satisfaction or meaning in. I am struck by how both busy and how empty life can be.

Sometimes I think the emptier we are, the more we do. We try to feel inner voids with outer activity. If you keep your hands busy, you won’t give your mind time to figure out how unhappy you are. So we work, and play, and run and run in vast circles of nothingness.

The other night my husband and I sat up late talking and I asked him if he was happy with life. His answer, bitingly honest, was yes sort of, but what’s the point? Yes, we’re happy in our marriage and we’re thankful for many things but what are we actually accomplishing? Our lives our filled with necessary obligations–work and church and a million other things–but when we get to the end of it all, if our lives were over tomorrow, what would we have accomplished? What would have mattered?

Apart from necessities, I can think of only two things that I would carry to the grave with meaning–love and relationships. My love for Darren matters–if I lost him tomorrow, every minute up until that moment would have mattered and always will matter to me. Love is my most meaningful “accomplishment.”  My relationships with God and other people–friends and family–matter too. All the rest is just necessity–we work to eat and eat to live–and live to love.

I think in order to fill our lives with meaning, we must first stop filling them with mindless activities. Ever since our conversation that night, my husband and I have been asking ourselves what we can eliminate in order to slow life down and to spend more time together. This is not an easy task because it means saying no to many people and many things and this sometimes gives people the impression that you’re not interested in being a part of what’s going on. Whatever people may think though, my goal is simple–build relationships, be quiet enough to hear the people in my life speaking their hearts and minds to me, sit still and take in the world around me–nature and all God has given us to enjoy and better know him. Slow down, sit and eat dinner and sip a cup of coffee and stop always hurrying mindlessly from pointless point A to pointless point B. If I am too busy to know God, know people, and know love, them I’m too busy. Whatever else I may accomplish, in the end I accomplish nothing if not love for God and people.

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