“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
— Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)
There is existence and there is life and never, really, does the twain of both meet.
If we have to think about whether we are living or not we may simply be existing; going through the motions of life, contending with the challenges, and approaching the opportunities with anything from cautiousness to disdain. We may be estranged to joy.
But life is a realm above existence.
Life, from the Gospel viewpoint, which is the abundance and essence of spirituality that only God can give, is what we are called to. But alas, the overwhelming majority shrink from the boldness of that calling and subsist merely in existing. It seems the safe way; but it’s life-numbing, too.
Going Beyond What We Have Come to Know
Our experience has taught us much, and perhaps it has damaged us.
We have the opportunity, upon evidence of merely existing, to plan our way out of such a mess of ambivalence, through unlearning the issues of helplessness and learning, all the more, hope and sight for life.
If life is the learning ground, and I believe it is, we should place as much stock in unlearning as we should in learning.
There are many patterns of thinking we have developed that are wrong; that send us into an oblivion of settling for barely existing and not clamouring for the higher life.
Going beyond what we have come to know—to venture toward the truth—however the cost—is our inbound opportunity. We can get beyond the pain of merely existing, to receive true power for living.
But it requires from us a firm decision; a decision to commit wholeheartedly to God.
Perhaps it’s unfortunate that most of us learnt life the hard way; only when one life comes to an end, when we receive our rock bottom sentence, do we, in desperation, cling hard and fast for God. That was my reality.
TheABeyond Mere Painful Existence
If we will genuinely and earnestly read the Gospels, we may quickly find Jesus turning the whole world of our understanding for life upside down.
If we strive past what we can settle for, past the ease of life, past materialism and the obvious things of sight, we may gain insight for things ordinarily hidden: things abundant in life.
When we strive, first, for the things of God—rejecting the easy and ‘promising’ things we could have, otherwise—we are given abundantly more. This abundance far exceeds our understanding of abundance from a worldly platform. It’s not the world’s version of ‘prosperity’—which even some Christian leaders espouse.
Spiritual abundance is life and so far above mere painful existence. Our experience attests; we were born to follow Jesus’ way.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.