The Great Paradox – C-Mac
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
1 Peter 1:24:
For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall.
As I have journeyed through this life, I have examined that there are many complexities in this life. One of the greatest for me is the value and significance of man and mankind. I have learned that there are laws that govern the universe and there is one in particular that I like to call the law of opposites. Meaning that there are ways of doing, ways of seeing, and ways of being that totally contradict one another. One way of being is not always right, and neither is one way of seeing or being always wrong. However, there seems to be a time and a place for everything. For me – understanding that dichotomy and navigating through extremes of philosophies is the ultimate goal. That goal is achieving the law of balance. To be balanced is also to be wise. To be wise is to have understanding. To understand and to comprehend is a divine quality that has to be sought after day and night. It has to be the top priority. But it’s there to be found. Not for the simple, but for the prudent. It takes guts to seek after real wisdom and balance, because to know, to understand, to comprehend, is also to be sorrowful, angry, and frustrated. So how do I sum this up per the value of man and his contributions when it comes to understanding the law of opposites and balance? I will share.
Take my life for instance – I have learned not to take myself so seriously. But alternatively I take life very seriously. What do I mean? I mean I am but one man. Born on such and such day, live for a certain amount of days, and will pass on one day. I am in the midst of billions of people on the earth. Billions have lived before me, and perhaps billions after me. Most will never know my name. Most won’t care to either. When I am dead, I am gone. People will forget, move on, and go forward. My accomplishments will pass on. My inheritance will go to someone else and I very well may not like the way he/she uses it. I am not that important. I will be just another of the many voices in this wilderness called Earth. I ain’t all that! Who really cares? Nobody! If life is a stage and we all are actors, I’m sure that we won’t keep our parts forever.
But wait! That’s not the end of the story! For you see I have also been created in the image and likeness of God. I have creativity within my spirit, and innovation within my soul. I have the potential and ability to change the world and to influence my family. I can make a difference in my community or even the world. I can promote peace like Gandhi. Start a movement like Malcolm or Martin. Write great thesis like Baldwin. Rise from the chains of imprisonment to become president of a nation like Mandela. Serve like Mother Theresa. I can influence billions or simply influence one who will in turn influence billions. I can make a significant difference and contribute greatly because there is a spirit that lives within me that is eternal. There is a purpose for my life that the universe clearly understands. There is a value on my life that only my creator can determine. I may never understand – but whom and what I have touched as well as that which I will touch will be forever changed. My potential is limitless – and it has already been proven that I have survived some of the toughest times known to man starting with the passage of the birth canal. As long as I draw breath and have the ability to speak, move, and express energy – there is an opportunity to be the greatest of blessings to mankind. And somewhere – there is someone who cares.
So here you have it – the great paradox – perhaps the greatest of them all. My primitive way of balancing these juxtapositions is to take life seriously, but not to take myself too seriously. To understand that there is no wisdom in comparing myself to other people. The greatest gift I can give to my generation is to grow into the greatness that has my name on it, and to give it away to the world without apology. Then after I drew my last breath on this earth, and its time for me to move over to allow someone else to live, learn, hurt, breathe, and shine – as God judges me and man analyze my legacy – hopefully then I will begin to understand even more so this great paradox. Only this I am sure of – that I have not touched the surface of the value and reasons for this life.