I drive the latest Porsche, own a pricey home in the choicest of neighbourhoods. Forbes acknowledges me – my influence is unmistakable, many charities and mission efforts are funded by me. I have more than I can spend. Wow!
This is a sneak peek into my world of fantasy. Impressive and enviable right.
But is that all there is to life? Wealth? Fame? Influence? Luxury?
Wealth is very beneficial; Fame and influence open doors and create opportunities; living in luxury is admirable. Problem arises if they are the object of our undivided attention. When you are defined by them, you are set on a collision course with disaster.
Silver and gold appeal
Wealth and riches are real
But they really do not heal.
Luxury is hard to appease
It reels you in, after a tease
Finishing with smooth ease.
Prosperous? Careful, you may keel,
Your aim, strikes your heel,
Till you in defeat, kneel.
Like home, earth will become.
Yet your life, really is lonesome,
Empty, pointless, and burdensome!
C. S. Lewis puts it more succinctly in one of his classics, The Screwtape Letters:
‘Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is ‘finding his place in it’, while really it is finding its place in him. His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintances, his sense of importance, the growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build up in him a sense of being really at home in earth. You will notice that the young are generally less unwilling to die than the middle-aged and the old.’
Sobering right? And also familiar. Most people, if not all, can identify with the human condition described above, albeit in varying degrees.
C. S. Lewis is so right, it seems his analysis is a prediction for today, rather than a description of the human nature as seen six decades ago.
I wonder, how much of the world have I allowed to seep into my life? What imprint have I made on the world?
Can life be meaningful? What gives life meaning? Please share your thoughts.