I may have said this before, but working every day gives the weekend a whole new dimension. “Oh…so that’s why people are so excited about Friday nights…”
I must say that my job has helped me have more sympathy for other people. In a sense, my job is bringing me out of the idealistic stage of youth. Don’t worry, it hasn’t made me entirely cynical yet, but it is slowly happening. For one thing, I understand now why some people don’t have the time to do things they like. Someone says they want to come to our Mises Circle, but doesn’t have the time, and now I can sympathize with them. When I get home from work (and I only work 12-5pm) I’m generally quite tired and ready to “chill” for a couple hours with the family while recuperating enough to give a webinar, study, or teach a class. I have my mornings to get things done, but I see how people with fulltime jobs wouldn’t have the time to do a whole lot, even though they may really want to do it.
Also, the last week or two have taught me some important lessons about life. It is way more complicated than I sometimes think. I have come face to face with a huge dilemma, my job or my liberty? And this life is no fairy tale, for I lost this battle. Let’s just say, the powers that be won out and I was forced to accept their system of legalized plunder, as Bastiat put it. However, notice what I said, “this life is no fairy tale”…but in the last few days, I’ve come to realize that there’s more to my life than just this life. No, I don’t mean reincarnation. I mean, the eternal life that is to come. And while there are imperfections, sorrows, and injustices in this world, they will be righted in the next world. If there was no injustice here, why would we care about going to Heaven?
So this whole struggle has helped me understand in a deeper, more personal sense that my eyes should be set on the next world, for we can’t expect things to go right here. Up to this point, I haven’t had that many “crisis” moments that would define my direction in life. I have met the enemy and he has won, for now, and I’m not ashamed to say that. Yes, it means that I’ve had to compromise on my strongest beliefs, it means the life I’m living no longer perfectly matches what I talk about, it means that I must now deal with the regrets and pains of knowing my own hard-earned money is going to fund murder (in the form of abortion and needless wars), corruption, tyranny, and all that I have philosophically rejected, but I can keep going and keep on hoping. Why? Not because I dream of a time in my life when all of this will be ended (although that is one of my hopes, and I’m still trying for it) but because I know that there will come a time with all tyranny will be punished and justice will triumph and in that time and in that place there will be no stealing, no pain, no injustice, no murder, and no tyranny.
I have two other points related to this (don’t give up yet…this post won’t be too much longer!):
If God’s justice had not already been satisfied, I would not be longing for that time of righting wrongs. For we have all wronged God. We have rebelled against His divine justice and His very character demands punishment. But because Christ has satisfied that justice and redeemed all those who will believe, I can look forward to the Day of Judgement.
When thinking about Heaven, I’ve been tempted to use the words “perfect liberty” to describe it. But I think that misses the point. The reason it is unjust for one person to steal from another is because they are both just people. The thief is no better than the victim. What claim does the thief have on the life of their victim? No legitimate claim whatsoever. However, in Heaven, it will be different. For there we will be living for the only One who does have a legitimate claim on our life and being, our Creator. In practical terms, God is the only One who has a right to our paycheck. In fact, if He wanted, He would demand the entirety of our weekly earnings, for He’s made us, made this earth, gave us a job, and is keeping us alive so we can work. He is the only One who deserves all that we are and all that we have. Not only does He deserve it, that is the reason for our existence. Just as artists make paintings to express the artist’s character, we were made to express and worship God and who He is. Of course, we do this imperfectly here, but in Heaven there will be ultimate fulfillment of the emptiness and dissatisfaction inside. Instead of being frustrated and discouraged, we will be doing what we’re meant to do! Imagine the frustration of a painting that is used as a coat rack…and imagine the complete bliss and joy of that painting when someday it is actually displayed as a painting that mirrors the artist who created it. It isn’t tyranny for the artist to hang the painting on the wall, it is foolish for the painting to try to be anything but a painting. That’s how I look at it, and what’s why these trials and troubles haven’t left me without hope.