Sitting on the beach reading a work of fiction a protagonist ponders with resentment, “Did his work have meaning or was it merely a means to survive? There was nothing shameful about trying to survive–it was the occupation of the majority. However, was it enough to live….and not even be sustained by a sense of purpose?”
Nesterov is with the military police in Communist Russia and is being promoted by his wife, an annoying visitor who is on the outs with establishment, and an underlying sense that he must do the right thing, even if it means death. There is no mention of God here, but you can feel the pull of Nesterov struggling to act in a transcendent manner.
We do not often if ever get faced with literal life and death choices to stand up for our principles. However, we are faced daily with the human striving for economic prosperity or safety, good social standing, and access to resources we deem valuable. Are we willing to compromise our principles or faith for the promotion of our self-centered desires?
Are we silent when we see injustice? Do we benefit from the misfortune of others? Are we willing to face our fears and perhaps even be courageous? Can we accept loss and sacrifice?
I imagine must of us see ourselves as well-meaning people, perhaps even worthy of being a protagonist archetype of good with just a little embellishment and grandiosity from an author with creative imagination. Digging a little deeper we could also round out our lives with our deep inner struggles with good, evil, and situational adversities that shaped our characters.
But is the mold done and the dye cast? Or are we still a work in progress, seeking perfection while fulfilling a transcendent purpose that is mostly beyond our intellectual and spiritual grasp?
It is easy for me to say survival is not enough – harder to practice it with perfect fidelity. Truth is I cannot achieve perfection here as I am chained to my human desires, instincts, and mortal flesh.
Only in prayer and faith do I stand a chance of spiritual alignment with a greater metaphysical truth.
It does not matter what our occupation is or activity at the moment, every action and thought is meaningful and connected to the whole.
Where do you find your meaning in life?