by Ernest O’Neill
- “Oh, often have I washed and dressed,
- And what’s to show for all my pain–
- Let me lie abed and rest —
- Ten thousand times I’ve done my best —
- And all’s to do again!”
Houseman’s poem expresses the jaded malaise that weighs down many of us today. Life seems to have deteriorated into a dreary rat-race of repeated activities that seem only to prove the pointlessness and purposelessness of our lives. Yet we still remember moments of illumination and exhilaration when we thought that life could be limitlessly exciting. The world once lay before us as a wonderful adventure waiting for us to plunge in. Hang on to that — don’t lose it — keep hold of it right now! That is the truth! Life is all of that — even now — for you — whatever age you are! You’ve simply let your inside go to sleep while you’ve listened to all the people around you. That’s part of the reason you’re so bored; you listen to what everyone else thinks you should do, instead of finding out yourself. Their views are OK for them! But you’re your own person — you’re different. You’re unique — and your Maker has a unique plan for your life.
Listen to Your Conscience
This is what your conscience is all about. It’s not just the herd instinct or the product of your education or upbringing. It’s a supernatural gyro-compass inside you — a cosmic memory planted by God to lead you out along the remarkable fulfilling development he has for you. Far from being some kind of resident policeman who stops you doing anything that’s enjoyable — your conscience remembers why God made you. Inside it is written the unique contribution that you were made to make to the universe. Nobody else knows it — only your conscience. This is why a verse in the Bible (1 Corinthians 2:15) states “the spiritual man is judged by no one” — because no other human being on earth knows what the Maker has put you here to do and be. Only your conscience knows that.
Why So Many Bores?
You can see why so many of us become bores. Few of us spend much time listening or obeying our consciences. The result is that we all copy each other — do what others are doing — or play the contrarian by doing the opposite of what others are doing. So we all grow beards to be different — or study for MBA’s — or get married late — or early. But we all end up doing it together! Because we’ve allowed conscience to be relegated to the realm of morality and religion — and missed the fact that it is the key to life with a big “L”.
You see life differently from everyone else in the world — and differently from everyone who has ever been in the world — or will be in the world. There is nobody quite like you — with the combination of parents, home, relatives, education, physical appearance, emotions, and mind that you have. And there’s a reason for that. The Creator of the universe has a Son — and you are part of Him. That was stated by a man named John in the first century (John 1:4) — “That which has been made was life in Him.” You were made in Jesus, the Creator’s Son, and He has planned to show himself through you in a never-to-be-repeated way. Only your conscience knows how. That’s why it’s so vital for you to listen to your conscience.
An Engine-Driver or an Explorer
Only your conscience holds the pattern of your life. Don’t settle for survival at any cost. Don’t sell yourself short. Of course, you yourself are just a human being with the same attributes as everybody else, but inside you is the most remarkable Being in the whole universe — and he wants to be himself in you. This doesn’t mean you become a passive instrument. The more you listen to conscience the more active you find yourself becoming. It’s a miracle that this Son of God, Jesus, can only be Himself when you are most really yourself. But that’s reality! So, start listening!
Don’t get all religious about it. Just be quiet at the end of each day. Think over the day — reflect on your own actions and thoughts. Be downright honest and real. If you did anything that makes you squirm, then acknowledge that to your better self — Christ inside you. Read about him in the New Testament — one of the historical records of his conversations. This will help you to understand what your conscience is telling you to do. Then, in a very simple way, acknowledge to Christ that you know he has something to do in your life that he cannot do in any other — and that you want that.
Au Seuil de L’Eternite
You’re now stepping “on the threshold of eternity” — the beginning to the great journey. This is the start of your journey towards reality. Your conscience — rather Christ through your conscience — will gradually stir into life a whole person inside you that has lain dormant from your birth. Let’s talk more about it in the next article.