Be careful what you make your meaning. By this, I mean, be careful what you tell yourself about who you are and why you are here.
Only God knows with absoluteness who you are and why you are here and I think He gives self-evident clues with the gifts and talents that He carefully put in each of us as human beings.
Some people have the rarest of abilities; the ability to animate and stupefy at the same time and the ability to love and cater without any expectations of reward. Simple things that these people do without effort to help make the world turn around better.
Skill is not meaning. It only clarifies it. Putting it succinctly, because you write so well should not make you arrive at the conclusion that you might be a writer. You could be a teacher who writes well. The proper approach to your meaning should not be just identifying your talent with its potential. Rather, why you have that talent in the first place. In tying a talent or gifting to your self-identity ‘why’ is always more important than ‘what’.
Some others derive meaning from their relationships. They are someone’s parent, spouse, sibling, child, lover or enemy. Many fall into this awful chasm of defining oneself, so much, so that life becomes meaningless at the demise of such relationships, whether caused by the passing away of the person they were in a relationship with or that person simply moved away from their proximity. I have seen many people wither away through ailment or commit suicide because of the loss of will to live, in this instance.
A third place people derive meaning from is fame or social acceptance. Whether it is among friends or more dangerously on social media, there is a rising need for acceptance; to feel that one means something to others hence the unbridled drive for likability in the world today. This too is a bottomless chasm exploited by most of the world’s multi-billion dollar enterprises. I think it very significant that from Amazon to Instagram, these companies derive their monetary valuations from our relentless search for meaning. ‘Liking’ a comment, video or photograph on social media should not be a source pool of a person’s worth but it is in our world today and methinks, we may be toying with astronomical suicide rates by the mid-2020s if the trend is left unchecked.
Most people do not like it when I default to God as the origin of meaning because it invalidates Darwinism and many other aspects of man’s flawed rationalizations. Their arguments are that since one cannot see God, it is inappropriate to adjudicate or measure anything against the God-standard. I quite agree with this viewpoint from a nihilist’s perspective but I am not a nihilist, and even science does not presuppose that we came from nothing.
I am poised to ask- If we (human beings) came out of nothing and we somehow evolved over 4.5 billion years to what we are, then where did we come from originally? This is where the Creationist’s argument in support of intelligent design takes centre stage. DNA, the genetic code of living beings that offers the Darwinists their only source of credibility is the Creationists friend too. To put it plainly, any codification that encapsulates the minutest detail of a living being presupposes that that being did not happened upon Earth randomly. The chaos of Darwinism caves in to the order of DNA described by epigenetics (the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself) in which experiences are structurally passed from ancestor to forebear in such fine detail as could be expressed in the Creationist’s Bible. God warns against idolatry promising to visit the sins of fathers to the third and fourth generations. It is not that God is a vengeful, unforgiving God but man’s capacity for triggering trans-generational problems through his inability to grasp the meaning of his life becomes a dreary cavernous pit of problems.
Problems like abuse, late marriage and alcohol addiction are cyclical in nature, recurring across generations. Then, fathers must be careful about the kind of vices they pick up, even if their children never physically witness the effects of such vices. Parts of Christianity describe the recurrence of similar problems in one’s lineage as ‘generational curses.’ Nevertheless, whether you call them generational curses or the more scientific forging of neural pathways, gaining a sense of meaning plays a primal role in how our forebears and us find our way in the world.
God—largely—is the author of meaning based on the antithesis of Darwinists. Meaning does not come from the likes you get on your Facebook and Instagram posts or the reliance of other people based on the relationship you share with them.
To sum it in the less combustible point that Paul the Apostle drives in his copious letter to the church at Rome: ‘let God be true and every man a liar.’
Your life’s meaning steeps upwards in the mind of the Creator and only those willing to make the climb reach Nirvana.