Maybe the Point of Living Is...
To stop fretting about whether Life has a point and to just live like we are confident that there *is*? (Getting Unstuck Part 2...)
[Below is Part II of “Getting Unstuck” in Life; Part I is here: aghostinthemachine.substack.com/p/getting-unstuck]
What is the point of living? What if the point is actually to stop fretting about such questions? What if the point of Life is to arrive at a place, spiritually, where you just trust that there is a point? What if this is the proper role of Faith, because trusting God means having an abiding assurance that the ultimate power over our lives is held by a good God, and this blessed assurance frees us to get on with the business of living, fully expecting God to bring about real good, in and through our lives?
One hilarious and poignant scene from the Woody Allen movie Annie Hall that really resonates with me was the one from Alvy Singer’s childhood, where his mother is explaining to the doctor that Alvy has stopped doing his homework after learning that the Universe was rapidly expanding and therefore could, theoretically, break apart in the future. Given this cosmic reality, what would be the point of wasting time on unpleasant drudgery like homework?
Young Alvy Singer Talking about Doing Homework in an Expanding Universe…
[As a side-note, in junior high I did some research into the etymology of the word “homework” and learned that it was originally a contraction of the phrase “homeroom work,” as in, work that you are supposed to do in haste in homeroom on the day that it is due, just before the start of your first class. I decided to pursue my studies in faithful adherence to the original meaning of the term. I’m a bit of a stickler for things like that. If the teachers wanted to assign “Home’work,” as in “Homeroom-work,” then I would dutifully work on it only during the proper time and place: homeroom prior to the start of the first period class. And that’s probably also why my grades were always so bad in junior high and high school. But I digress…]
Maybe I had a morbid imagination, but I do recall lying awake at night as a young child, wondering about death. Someday, everyone presently alive, including me, would be dead. Someday other people, yet unknown, would populate the world, and they would know little or nothing about the people alive today; just as there had once been countless people who had lived before me, whose hopes and fears and relationships and pleasures and pains had been just as real to them as mine were to me. What did those forgotten lives mean now? And what would the lives of those alive today mean in the distant future, when nearly every memory of their existence had been extinguished? I didn’t have the vocabulary or concepts to articulate these questions, but on some deep, visceral level, they made their voices heard to my childish mind.
If I had been a musical prodigy and a poet like Morrissey and Johnny Marr, maybe I would have found a better outlet for my musings, like they did with the Smiths…
The Smiths song Cemetry Gates about the living and the dead
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