This year has been a dark year, both personally and for the world in general. Christmas is a time we celebrate God coming into our dark and hopeless world to help those of us who choose to reject darkness and instead seek the light; to reject being passionate lovers of ourselves which comes so easily, and instead become what we were made to be, and learn to love God and others.
John 1 tells us of how the God who made us, came to earth to draw us back from the darkness we had fallen into through selfish desires, and into the light of life once again. The following is a video of the beginning of John 1 that I made.
These past couple years, in many ways, could be described as the darkest of my life. What began as something everyone hoped would be a short brush with illness followed by a triumphant return to a normal successful life, clearly didn't happen. Despite years of striving, and some improvements, there have been many setbacks and newer, more life threatening, fears. By every normal standard, my life has been a complete failure. I've built nothing, I've accomplished nothing past survival and I've sucked up an enormous amount of family resources in the process. This led me to think carefully about my purpose in life, what made life worth living, and if I were to meet my maker soon, would He be pleased with what I had done with the life He gave me?
It's true that these dark years of my life have been tough, but I feel I have also been blessed by them, since they've pushed me to look closer at meaning and purpose in life. I've come to see that all meaning in life is derived from our relationships (human to human and human to God). Money and careers were only worth as much as they enabled you to do things for others and yourself. If relationships are the source of all meaning in life, it makes sense that the two greatest commandments God gave us were to love God and to love one another as we love ourselves. These two commandments, were given to guide us to invest our lives in that which has the most value, because they are eternal.
With this understanding, I've slowly begun to realize that if I learned to love God and others better, and helped others to do the same, my life, though it be devoid of career, accolades, a spouse or children, or any celebrated achievement, would not be futile or wasted. In fact, it would still have fulfilled it's primary purpose.
I pray this Christmas, in a world facing shocking darkness, we can all find our way back to the light and life found in God and once again become what were made to be.