What is the worth and meaning of the individual ?
Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, a Chinese Sage named Lao-tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching in which he asks the same questions as our subject. Perhaps we would say it in this manner “Do I matter, Why am I here? Does my life have meaning?
In the fifty-fourth verse of his classic Lao-tzu was asking and answering this age old question this way:
What (Tao’s) skilful planter plants
Can never be uptorn;
What his skillful arms enfold,
From him can ne’er be borne.
Sons shall bring in lengthening line,
Sacrifices to his shrine.
Tao when nursed within one’s self,
His vigour will make true;
And where the family it rules
What riches will accrue!
The neighbourhood where it prevails
In thriving will abound;
And when ’tis seen throughout the state,
Good fortune will be found.
Employ it the kingdom o’er,
And men thrive all around.
In this way the effect will be seen in the person, by the
observation of different cases; in the family; in the neighbourhood;
in the state; and in the kingdom.
How do I know that this effect is sure to hold thus all under the
sky? By this (method of observation).
In the opening verse of the Tao Te Ching , Lao-tzu tells us the “Tao is both named and nameless.” The Tao is an unknowable, unseeable realm where everything originates, while at the same time, the Tao is invisibly within everything. When we desire to see this invisibleness (mystery) , we attempt to define it in terms of the outer world of form – what Lao-tzu calls “the 10,000 things” He counsels us that letting go of trying to see (or understand) the mystery will actually allows to see it. Or as I like to think of it, “let go and let God.” For Lao-tzu the Tao is God.
In 964 B.C. The Psalmist David ask the question this way:
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Psalms 8: 3, 4 KJV)
How is it possible that two men with such diverse backgrounds and differing expressions have the same type of thoughts? “Do I matter, Why am I here? Does my life have meaning?
The best explanation that I might give is the butterfly effect.
Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect?
At one time there was a theory that the Chaos theory attempts to explain the fact that complex and unpredictable results can and will occur in systems that are sensitive to their initial conditions. A common example of this is known as the Butterfly Effect. It states that, in theory, the flutter of a butterfly’s wings in China could, in fact, actually effect weather patterns in New York City, thousands of miles away. In other words, it is possible that a very small occurrence can produce unpredictable and sometimes drastic results by triggering a series of increasingly significant events.
“The child whispered, ‘God speak to me’
And a meadow lark sang.
The child did not hear.
So the child yelled ‘God speak to me!’
And the thunder rolled across the sky
But the child did not listen.
The child looked around and said,
‘God let me see you’ and a star shone brightly
But the child did not notice.
And the child shouted,
“God show me a miracle!’
And a life was born but the child did not know.
So the child cried out in despair,
‘Touch me God, and let me know you are here!’
Whereupon God reached down
And touched the child.
But the child brushed the butterfly away
And walked away unknowingly
Gentle Reader, You flapped your wings and God spoke through you and…who knows how many lives were changed for the Glory of God!
I am so proud of each of you Gentle Readers, who come to share with me and each other who pray for one another each day whose prayers reach the highest of peaks far beyond what man can aspire to the very throne room of God. Who in His infinite love bends to hear and answer the weakest voice.
In the fifty-fourth passage of Lao-tzu and David advised you to see divinity that resides in each of us. Know that in the silent space within you, where the Tao (God) dwells, who animates every breath and thought your life makes a difference.
See the world without hatred, disrespect or violence where the environment is respected and cared for and where cancer, Aids, starvation, child abuse, weapons and war of all kinds or any other demeaning scenarios disappear.
Therefore everything you think and do extends outward and multiplies. And we reach out and touch the face of God. For in him [Christ who is in God] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, [ye are in Him, made full] which is the head of all principality and power… (Col. 2:9,10).