Friday, August 19, 2005

A Life Worth Living

Welcome to my new blog site. In this initial entry, I hope to introduce myself in a manner which will stir interest in this blog, and which will bring visitors back again and again.

At the risk of sounding pretentious, I'd like to ask a simple question for you to ponder: What makes life worth living? Many factors can influence one's perceptions with regard to that question.

Few reasonable people dispute the notion that life can be more enjoyable when one has an abundance of material things. Most people also desire some measure of power, although the type of power which is desired can vary widely from one individual to the next. Fun experiences can certainly enhance the perception that one's life has been worthwhile. There is nothing inherently wrong with material things, power or pleasure. But none of those things present the entire picture, at least not for people who believe, as I do, that there is one God who created all that there is.

Ultimately, all of our evaluations concerning the value of our own lives and the lives of others are subjective, and potentially misleading. If there is a God, and a forthcoming day of final judgment, then the true value of our individual lives will only be revealed to us on that day. Then God will have the final word. It is likely that most of us will have some surprises waiting for us.

If there is a life after death, then the things which will ultimately determine the value of our lives here on earth are those which will endure even after we have died. Treasures on earth are transient, but treasures in Heaven are eternal. Therefore, those of us who are sufficiently farsighted to care about how we spend eternity try to live our lives in such a way as to make every moment a positive investment in the future. That means trying to live life in a way which is pleasing to God, even if it means that we must sometimes forfeit temporary pleasures we might experience here on earth.

Virtually all of us, including myself, do this imperfectly. Nevertheless, there is value in making an effort. To make a real effort means to consider the consequences of all of our actions, even including such seemingly trivial things as the creation of entries in one's personal blogs.

Of course, when our own efforts fall short (as they often do), God's grace and mercy are available to all who seek those things, and who also meet God's criteria, which have been clearly communicated in many ways, particularly through the revelation of his written word, and through the life and teachings of the incarnate word of God, Jesus Christ.

Of course, these beliefs of mine, while popular in certain circles, are far from universal. It would be folly to pretend otherwise. Nevertheless, every person has certain foundational beliefs, the understanding of which is crucial to an understanding of all other aspects of that person's life. Since this is my first blog entry in this new blog, I feel that it's important to establish the foundation of my life, so that those who read my subsequent blog entries can read them with an understanding of their context.

By its very nature, a blog is an expression of personal opinions. By my very nature, I am human, and therefore fallible. (Some would say extremely fallible!) I don't pretend that the things which I will write in this blog constitute ultimate truth (although I may, from time to time, refer to things which, being of divine origin, do fit that description in my opinion). Nevertheless, for what it's worth, I think that those who take the time to read what I have written will be rewarded for their efforts.

Like my life itself, this blog will be a journey. I welcome you to come along for the ride!

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