August 9, 2004
Do You Matter?
"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what
the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O
house of Israel, that I am going to do these things,
but for the sake of my holy name, which you have
profaned among the nations where you have gone'"
Do you think you matter? I am referring to your
relationship to the grand scheme of things. You may
not think there is a grand scheme of things to be a
part of. But maybe you are one of those people that
does believe there is purpose in the universe. You may
or may not believe in God – an intelligent being who
he himself is involved in life. You may believe in
fate or something else that guides or influences life.
However life works, what do you think about your role
There are two ways that we can "matter" in the world.
The first has to do with our effect upon others and
history. We may think of ourselves as just a small
drop in a very large bucket or like one grain of sand
by the ocean's shore. If we think of ourselves that
way, then our existence makes no difference at all. On
the other hand we may see ourselves like a pebble
dropped upon the pond of life, making ever increasing
ripples constantly expanding and growing. The smallest
things we do may have a great profound effect on life.
Another way we may "matter" has to do with our own
personal worth. I don't think that this is something
that atheists would or could even consider, since to
them the universe is simply an impersonal, random
combination of energy and material stuff.
But for those of us who believe in some sort of
Superior Being, it is an important question. Does God
care about me? There are many people who, if I asked
them that question, would quickly answer, "Yes!" But
do those same people (myself included) really believe
that deep down in our hearts?
This is where the two aspects of the question, "Do I
matter?" come into play.
We often hear the words, "God loves you," but do not
think that we have any true significance in the grand
scheme of things. If we believe we are truly
insignificant in the universe, can we also at the same
time believe that the Master of that Universe truly
cares about us as individuals?
The verse I quoted above might give us the impression
that God's blessings don't really have us personally
in mind at all, but rather are only significant
insofar as they support his eternal plan. This then
means that God is a goal-oriented taskmaster, who is
pleased to sometimes give trinkets to those who buy
into his agenda and doesn't really have time for his
children and their true needs.
Have you ever felt like that? I have heard statements
from people both in conversation and in formal talks,
as well as concepts in songs, stating things such as
"It's not about you! It's all about God." This kind of
spirituality tends to teach that we must completely
forget about ourselves and our human concerns and
focus solely on God as if we ourselves don't matter.
But we do! As we read in the Psalms: "The righteous
cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them
from all their troubles" (Tehillim / Psalms 34:18
[English: 34:17]). While God does have a grand scheme,
he deals with people at many levels. God is able to
have long term goals for the universe and possess
great love for each and every one of his creatures at
the same time.
It is true that we can lose perspective and begin to
focus on ourselves to the extent that we lose sight of
the grand scheme of things. None of us is the center
of the universe. Only God is God, King and Master. But
he is also our loving Father, who cares for us with an
infinite eternal love. We matter to him.