One of Billions
Dear old and new friends,
The earth’s population is now estimated at over 7 billion and projected to be 9.2 billion by 2050. Scientists using telescope data calculate there are more than 100 billion earth-like planets outside our solar system in our Milky Way galaxy alone. The next few coming years most likely will see scientific confirmation of the existence of another earth like ours. Today consider how catastrophic would be news of such a discovery, how our concept of the world’s significance would shrink, and of the cataclysmic effects on religion…and the Bible’s infallible beliefs about creation and even God! Since the consequences are so shattering, we don’t like to speculate on other possible earths in the Milky Way or that there are over 7 billion other people on our planet. Such thoughts only would shrink us to some teensy weensy microscopic insignificance.
We are able to normally go about our daily lives feeling good about ourselves because the world we live in isn’t the size of planet Earth. Each of us lives in a world composed of an intimate circle of family and friends whom we know and think we are important, and more significantly, lovable. Sadly, in our crowded faceless society there are loners who live as outsiders suffering psychological problems and feeling isolated, powerless, and of no value. High powered guns empower the emotionally frail who attempt to become famous by their mass murders at some Mall, saying to themselves, “Now the world will know I exist!”
If only each of us knew—and believed—we are not some historic accidents! We each enter this world with a purpose; each one of us is important since we individually bring a unique work-purpose into this world. While at an early age we can desire to be famous or renowned for our great wealth, it most likely will not be our purpose in life. Whatever work or purpose is ours, even if we do not become famous, that task is never something common or mediocre but an uninspiring life work or vocation.
What is or was your purpose? For some you are midway in living out your purpose, for others like seniors your purpose of parenting might be continuing on but on another higher level. Some purposes are for brief periods of your life, for others they are lifelong. If after some reflection you find that you are still searching for yours, know it can appear at any time or anyplace as this story by British author Donald Nicholl shows.
Nicholl tells the story of a man lying desperately ill in a hospital, almost out of his mind with terror and confusion caused by the drugs he was taking. In the midst of his painful darkness he hears a voice in the corridor outside his room that kept repeating over and over, “I’m so bloody lonely, I could cry!” It was the voice of an old miner who was in a hospital for the first time in his life and had been left alone in his wheelchair in the corridor. Then the man, while deep in his own pit of suffering, hearing over and over the old miner’s grief-stricken cries, said, “I’ll go out and sit by him if it is the last thing I do!” He struggled to get out of his bed and went to sit beside the old miner, and two things happened. The old miner was no longer fearfully alone, and man felt liberated from the terror of his sickness.