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I have been asked at different times and in different ways, in the immensity of this world and in the blink of an eye that is our time on earth, ‘Do I matter? Does what I do matter?’
And, of course, the answer is, absolutely.
I think Jesus would say our meaning is wrapped in the Great Commandment to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbours as ourselves. He similarly gives us a new commandment to love one another as he has loved us.
To those closest to us, our love matters and matters greatly. It is visiting the lonely or grieving, taking care of the neighbour’s dog and/or children during an emergency. I see and experience this daily but especially when I am given the honour of leading a funeral service.
It is hard to enumerate all the many large and small kindnesses shown to me on a regular basis that do not so much give meaning to my life, but make the living of it sweeter.
You and I, all by ourselves, are inconsequential on the world stage. But that is only if we see ourselves as individuals.
Our small actions matter and make a difference. My bank account would be more than seven times greater if I received a penny from everyone in the world rather than if one person gave me £10,000,000.
We can love our larger world and neighbour by merely giving up our conveniences. Choosing public transportation over our car. Cutting out single-use plastics. These are just a couple of the many, many small things we can do for the environment we live in that, multiplied many times over, can make a large difference in the common good.
All these actions can be rooted in a sense of duty, out of guilt or out of necessity. But they can also flow out of a deep spiritual connection to God and all that God has graciously given to us. And that deep spiritual connection is love.
I find meaning in life by being a part of God’s family and this family is committed to loving the world and sacrificing, if need be, to be a part of the loving solution to all that ails us.
Reverend Tom Telfer, Kilchrenan and Dalavich, linked with Muckairn.