I just finished reading the 6th Harry Potter book, the Half-Blood Prince. And it got me thinking about purpose and meaning and doing and being. I can't help but think of how wonderful if would be to be Harry Potter. His purpose was clear, he knew what he had to do, he had great determination to do it, and so he went and accomplished his mission. How I would give anything to be in that position, to have that clarity of purpose and mission and the ability to go out and make it happen!
Which brought me to the question we all constantly wrestle with...what is my purpose, what will I do...which is a problem. Because although there is a very real war going on in the minds and hearts of all of those around us, although there is a good and evil at work right now amongst us, the ending is already decided. Through Jesus, this war is over. The victory has been declared.
Or has it?
My assumption has always been that Jesus has conquered all and that since this is the case, the scales between good and evil, although may not be full tipped in current time, will eventually tip entirely and good will win out. The problem with this assumption is that there is absolutely no purpose in those living between now and then since the end has been decided.
Let's take it from a different point of view... Let's think of evil/Satan/other demons as an evil giant terrorizing and killing constantly the other people on this planet. Clearly, we want to stop that and save as many people as we can. Well, when we go out there and constantly shoot tiny arrows at it that end up doing exceedingly little damage (although you could assume that each arrow does weaken it slightly, even if only a tiny amount). However, in the end, I know that the King will be coming at some point to slay the giant. In this circumstance, what is the point of me standing there through a lifetime and shooting arrows at the giant, knowing tht it will be an exceedingly difficult calling, likely to led to great pain, strife, andispel. If the end is decided, the in-between has no meaning.
Or is it truly without meaning? Is it truly insignificant to stand up against evil? Is it truly a waste to fight a lost battle? Should we simply resign ourselves to live the most comfortable lives possible since all else is of no great value? Should we give up on the poor with the assumption they will always be among us? Should we not stand up for the widow, the orphan, the sick, the abused?
Of course not! Because when we attack the giant, it must turn to us and stop terrorizing others, if even for a moment. And if by distracting the evil one we suddenly simultaneously allow another person to escape, what a great victory we have shared! And thus, what looks, like a life of meaningless effort and strife turns into the greatest life lived.
In fact, let me take this thought further...
When we as Christians are bogged down with concerns of this world (money, consumerism, getting ahead, having enough to eat or to wear or to look better), we are not even in the fight. When we are concerned about financial matters, we are not being attacked, we are recovering on the sidelines, completely separate from the struggle. Therefore, we must rid ourselves of the things that keep us from the fight. And we must storm the gates of hell to wreak as much havoic as possible on evil, hopefully attracting attention to our advances and away from those others who are being attacked. And if after a lifetime of fighting, if we have helped even one life be saved if even indirectly, it would be worth the battle. Wouldn't it truly be a waste-a shame-to have lived life on the sidelines?