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'" 
(Ezekiel 36:22).

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 
and place?

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.