Tuesday, August 10, 2004

... and speaking of meaninglessness...

A couple weeks ago at bible study (yes, Catholics do study the bible) we were discussing the up-coming Sunday readings. The first reading was from Ecclesiastes, in which it is stated that all things are vanity... meaningless... a chasing of the wind.

And it got me wondering about a specific "what if" type of question that you always hear. "What if... you found out that you only have 24 hours left to live? What would you do with those remaining hours of your life?"

It's a much more intriguing question than one might think. Would you:

A) Treat it as an opportunity to experience all of the phyical and material things (even the taboo) that you never had the chance to do up 'til then?

B) Travel to a place you've always wanted to visit, but never had the time or opportunity to get to before?

C) Apologizes to all those you have hurt or harmed in your past?

D) Continue with your normal day-to-day things, because you'd be doing the work that God had called you to do?

E) Spend the last day with loved ones?

F) Spend the day devoting yourself to contemplation, prayer and communion with God?

G) Helping the less fortunate, the injured, the sick?

H) Would you be like Job, spending the time in anger, resentment, disillusionment, self-pity?

I) Would you give away all of your possessions?

This is much more challenging than one would expect on the surface. Each possible response opens up a whole discussion in and of itself.

In the end, the "Scripture Insight" from my bible study booklet lays it out in clear and unmistakeable terms:

"We cannot know the mind of God. We cannot fathom the devine plan for the world. We can only trust that God seeks us as surely as we seek God. We must have faith that although the world is limited and imperfect, God is not. Our experience forces us to depend on God alone for happiness, treasure, life itself. Everything else is transient and illusory."

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