Dear all, I know there has been a hiatus since my last post. This always seems to be the case as the academic semester picks up. Today, my hot coffee, a three-hour break and the gloomy skies outdoors call for a moment of contemplation. University life has picked up and as I progress through my degree, I wouldn’t have thought two and a half years of law school would have passed by so quickly. Through the rigour, pressure and frequently humbling reality-checks, I have been thinking of a few things. Here are my thoughts (with genuine attempts to be concise!)
1. Our innate desire is to grow as a person.
As I interact with my circles of influence, our conversational topics often centre around individual desires to make plans, memories or wealth. I’m unsure if it’s my personal affinity towards conversations about the ‘deep and meaningfuls’, but I realise that I am often interested in learning about what makes a person tick. I find that amongst my circles, regardless of worldview, we desire to make the most out of life, and this is manifested by, amongst other things, developing hobbies, pursuing wealth and forming meaningful relationships.
I find it fascinating how different individuals that have been subjected to a myriad of influences can be so consistent in expressing a desire to live life to the fullest. Of course, this desire cannot be executed without effort, which leads me to my next point
2. Our efforts involve strife.
In our growth, we realise that the pursuit of excellence and meaning is tainted with setbacks and failures. As we attempt to build for ourselves our towers of wealth and self-direction, we encounter the huge costs of sacrifice and burden. We shoulder the ramifications of selfish choices and impulsive decisions; We bear the burdens of societal expectations and pressures, most of them conflicting and contradictory. What do we choose? How do we choose? The path to self-expression and meaning is often obstructed by our confusion and indecision.
Contrary to our desire to achieve meaning is a sense of our inability to do so; a lack of definition that ironically has become what defines us. I wonder how many of us stop to consider why we have such a strong tug to live life to the fullest and yet, also experience an equally strong tug that inhibits us from doing so. Do we just need to dream bigger, aim higher and work harder to fulfil this innate desire? And how would we know if this innate desire has been fulfilled? Will it be characterised by an oblivious bliss? A gritty resilience? I explore a possible idea below:
3. Our lives were created for something more.
After much thought, I do think the material world has an upper limit to how much it is able to satisfy us. Yes, the wealth gives us tangible comfort, our relationships fill us with joy, and a well-off status lifts our opinions of ourselves. These are undeniable markers of meaning. However, I think part of being a mysterious human is to act if we catch ourselves yearning for a deeper, more lasting sense of meaning. Will more money explain our destructive itchiness to amalgamate wealth? Will a new, exciting relationship answer our inability to spend time with ourselves? I strongly don’t think so. What would the possibility of forming a personal relationship with a very real, very power Creator of the universe mean for you? Is our dissatisfaction with this world and ourselves deep and convicting enough?
I hope that this write-up served to encourage my many lethargic, overwhelmed friends of the reality of this broken world, that you are not feeling this alone, and that there is a greater hope and deeply satisfying life within reach.
‘Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will never thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life’. – John 4:13-14, NASB
‘If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world’. – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity