I read an article recently titled “To Be Successful, Do Only What Matters”. Now this is from Entrepreneur.com so it is not religious. But as most things, it brought to mind a religious point. Are we doing anything that really matters eternally? I will start here with me and then move outward. Does anything I write here on this website have any eternal value? Now I realize that the majority of what I write is on the topic of God but does it have any long term effect on the world? Is the world better because of it?
The next one is even “more” fun to think about – my job. It feels like it has very little value eternally either. Whether a computer is fixed or broken doesn’t “save” anyone. Of course it does provide for me and my children. It also affords for me to be generous with my resources – both time and money. And of course God can use this, as He can use anything, to grow His kingdom. But it seems many times that there might be something “better” for me to do.
What about vacations? Reading books? Watching movies or TV?
It gets even worse. I look at the people in my life. I ask God to use me in their lives and I struggle to see any change. This leads to feelings of hopelessness but more to the point – does me being in their lives matter at all? It appears they would be no better or worse off if I did not exist. So how long must I watch people unable to help themselves and me unable to help them either? How long can I pray and weep over them without coming to the realization that it is futile?
This inactivity, or rather activity in unimportant things, is quite intolerable when one thinks of the brethren and of how precious time is. The whole burden of self-reproach because of a wrong decision comes back again and almost overwhelms one. I was in utter despair. –Bonhoeffer: A Biography by Eric Metaxas
I read this in the Bonhoeffer book. This was from his journal on June 15, 1939. It seemed to fit with the idea in the post since I am trying to determine if I am being active in unimportant things. What is important? What matters eternally?