Everyone longs for an identity and a purpose in this life. We want to know that our life matters and we made a difference in some way, leaving behind a history and legacy. Wherever I look in the world today there is someone or some group trying to bring matter to their existence. Years ago I heard this story:
He couldn’t decide if he were experiencing a dream or reality. It was so different, so impossible; it simply had to be a dream.
The situation was this. He was sitting on one side of a beautiful table. Across from him was someone else, someone he only new as the Other One. The table between them was covered in the finest white dust, and it was perfectly undisturbed. There were no marks in it of any kind so that it looked almost like fine spread of seamless cloth. Somehow he knew that it was the Other One who had brought him to this place and made him the offer he was considering.
“It’s time,” announced the Other One.
“I know,” responded the man. “Could you explain the choice to me again?”
“Of course,” said the Other One. “I will write one thing in the dust and one thing only. “I will write whatever you ask me to write, and whatever it is will become a part of your life. You may ask for anything: any knowledge, any virtue, any gift, any hope, any dream, any grace, any possession, anything. I will write it in the dust, and it will become a part of you and your life.”
“Could I be rich?” asked the man.
“Yes, if that is the one thing you want,” answered the Other One.
“What if I wanted to be able to see into the future?” he asked.
“Even that is possible,” answered the Other One.
Of course he had thought of all these things before, but the actual choice was proving to be very difficult. As he thought of each possible request, he tried to imagine the consequences as best he could. He could ask for love or happiness or money or fame or anything like that, but what if he got sick and died soon? He could ask for long life or good health, but then he might be poor, unloved, and miserable. Everything good he could think of to ask for was incomplete and flawed in some way. While each choice fulfilled one hope or dream, it left some other hope or dream unprotected and potentially unfulfilled. That was why he had been sitting there for so long.
“It’s time,” the Other One reminded him again.
“I know,” replied the man. “I know.”
“What shall I write in your dust?”
The man took a deep breath. He was ready to make his decision.
“Your Name,” he declared to the Other One. “Write your Name in my dust.”
–“The Carpenter and the Unbuilder”, Griebner-1996
If you did not catch it, Jesus Christ is the Other One. Of course, I am a little bias but if there is only one thing to strive for in this life to bring matter to who you are…is Jesus Christ…and the rest will just fall into place.